The Forestry Department, today (March 16, 2022), launched the “876Trees” mobile app to track the number of seedlings being planted as Jamaica advances towards its National Tree Planting Initiative target of three million trees.
The National Tree Planting Initiative was launched by Prime Minister, The Most Hon. Andrew Holness in October 2019 to mitigate the effects of climate change and represents a tree being planted for every Jamaican.
With the launch of the free 876Trees app, the Forestry Department's CEO and Conservator of Forests, Ainsley A Henry, said Jamaicans should now have even easier access to critical planting and maintenance information while ensuring that the Agency keeps track of all the seedlings being planted and distributed, especially from nurseries outside of the Forestry Department.
“We have had some challenges, but we are resolute that we can and we will get there,” Henry assured. “We know that many seedlings have been planted that we aren’t yet aware of and the launch of the 876Trees app will ensure that all seedlings planted over the past two years are counted and tracked. It will also provide easily accessible planting and maintenance instructions to ensure the seedlings will survive and thrive.”
Through the 876Trees app, members of the public can create a profile where they can manage all the seedlings they’ve received and planted. They can access interactive video and text instructions on how to prepare, plant and maintain the seedlings to ensure they survive.
With the chat feature, planters can get timely responses to their planting and maintenance questions from the experts at the Forestry Department.
Although the National Tree Planting Initiative is expected to end this year, the Forestry Department intends to engage the public to continue tracking the trees being planted well beyond the initiative’s end date. Mr Henry also reminds the public that getting involved is very easy.
“Every single Jamaican can visit any of the three Forestry Department nurseries across the island to collect, at no cost, up to 10 select timber or ornamental seedlings to plant. The benefits of having trees in our surroundings are endless but we know that forests are one of the most affordable ways to mitigate the effects of climate change because of the role trees play in the carbon cycle,” Henry said.
Henry is also encouraging members of the public who have already planted seedlings to register their seedlings through the 876Trees app or via the NTPI webpage to ensure that they are counted towards the national effort. “Since the launch of the initiative in 2019 and based only on the trees currently counted, our efforts have resulted in over 7.6 tonnes of pollutants being removed from the air, 574.3 million gallons of water filtered and more than 5,206 tonnes of carbon dioxide absorbed by the trees planted.”
The 876Trees App is available for download from the Apple App and Google Play stores for free.