The Forestry Department has partnered with the Jamaica Energy Partners Group for the establishment of forest cover in the Blue Mountain 2 Forest Reserve in St. Thomas. The project, which was executed under the Agency’s Adopt-a-Hillside Programme, saw the planting of 1,625 tree seedlings on 2.48 hectares of land. The species planted were Cedar, Jamaican Mahogany, and Caribbean Pine.
The Adopt-a-Hillside programme forms part of the Agency’s thrust to increase participation of the private sector and non-government organizations in the maintenance and restoration of the island’s forest cover.
CEO and Conservator of Forests, Mr. Ainsley Henry, has commended the Jamaica Energy Partners for their commitment to safeguarding the forest resources and protecting our environment. “We hope your commitment will serve as an encouragement to other companies as well as all Jamaicans and will speak to the individual and corporate responsibility we all hold,” he said.
Meanwhile, President and CEO of the Jamaica Energy Partners Group, Mr. Wayne McKenzie says tree planting has been a major initiative under the Jamaica Energy Partners’ Corporate Social Responsibility portfolio since 2009.
“To date, the company has planted over 5,600 trees, and we are still excited about the newly adopted site. Preserving the country’s natural resources is important to us, as well as educating our communities about the significance of planting trees, which we do via our social media platforms,” Mr. McKenzie shared.
All the trees planted under this project count towards the National Tree Planting Initiative (NTPI) which is aimed at planting three million trees in three years. The initiative which entered its final year in October 2021 has seen the planting and distribution of over 750,000 seedlings.
The Conservator of Forests says the Agency welcomes all activities that will assist in the achievement of the goal as well as the reforestation of denuded government lands across the island. “As an Agency, we do not possess all the resources needed to undertake these efforts, so we are depending on key partnerships and collaboration as well as the buy-in of every Jamaican,” Mr. Henry said.
For more information on the Adopt-a-Hillside programme and the National Tree Planting Initiative, persons may visit the Forestry Department’s website, www.forestry.gov.jm, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 876-618-3205.