Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, is encouraging educational institutions across the island of Jamaica to plant trees to protect the environment.
The Senator, who was participating in a tree-planting event on October 7th, at the Charles Chin Loy Basic School in Kingston, in observance of National Tree Planting Day 2016, said that promoting environmental awareness among youth is important to conserve and protect the country’s natural resources.
“We are trying to get all institutions to participate in tree planting, which helps to make the environment healthier. Educational institutions have to deal with not only the theoretical part of delivering the curriculum, but, in a very practical way, demonstrate and have the students participate in an activity like (tree planting), which socializes them and teaches them the value of protecting the environment and the efficacy of planting trees,” he noted.
The Minister argued that the activity must be a “national imperative” in the face of the serious challenges associated with climate change, noting that activities of this nature must be done in a sustainable manner to have meaningful impact.
“We have challenges with global warming and climate change, and all this can be part of teaching students why it is important to plant trees. It’s not about doing things just one time; you need to make it a habit and have a culture of protecting the environment,” Senator Reid emphasized.
The annual exercise, which is spearheaded by the Forestry Department, aims to highlight the role of trees in the sustenance of life, while providing an opportunity for the public to contribute to increasing the island’s forest cover and beautifying surroundings by planting trees.
Members of Government ministries and agencies, representatives of educational institutions and the business community, and the general public are invited to participate in the national initiative. Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, and members of the Early Childhood Commission were also on hand to assist the young students in the tree-planting exercise.
Tree-planting exercises were also held at Penwood High School, Dupont Primary and Infant School, Seaward Primary and Junior High School, and Kingston High School in the Corporate Area. Other participating schools were Mount Alvernia High School in Montego Bay; Happy Grove High, Portland; Munro College, St. Elizabeth; and Moneague Primary, St. Ann.
This year’s National Tree Planting Day was celebrated under the theme “Trees Today, Trees Tomorrow, Trees for Life.”