Minister of Environment, Adrian Forde, joins workers from the Sanitation Service Authority and the National Conservation Commission today to clear land at Flat Rock, St. George for his Ministry’s Clean and Green Initiative. (B. Hinds/BGIS)

Residents of Flat Rock, St. George will soon have a redeveloped clean and green space thanks to the Ministry of the Environment and National Beautification.

This was revealed today by Minister of Environment, Adrian Forde, as a team of workers from the Sanitation Service Authority and the National Conservation Commission (NCC) cleared a portion of land at Flat Rock to make room for the start of the Ministry’s ‘Clean and Green’ initiative, which is expected to be replicated in communities across Barbados.

Addressing the launch of the project that will see the creation of a park, Minister Forde said: “The idea is to clean because we believe that Barbados must be a clean place; it must be the cleanest place in the western hemisphere and that is the firm commitment of the Prime Minister…. We are going to clean this country. At the same time, we are going to beautify; that is where the NCC and the tree planting project comes into play because we believe in not only cleaning but we have to keep Barbados beautiful.”

While acknowledging international the thrust “to have a greener atmosphere” and the existential threats of global warming, he hinted that Barbados’ goal of planting one million trees was attainable.

The Minister underscored the importance of planting one million trees in mitigating the harmful effects of carbon dioxide.

“It [tree planting] is part of our national determined contribution along with what we are doing in the roof to reefs; the electric vehicles, the reduction in fossil fuels across the board and the photovoltaic thrust that we have as a government.

“When all of these things combine by 2030, our dream is to have a carbon neutral environment, he added.

The Minister further pointed out that the work at Flat Rock was only one small part of the exercise of greening and noted the project aimed at improving the lives and livelihood of every single person in that community and he urged everyone to get involved and “make a difference in people’s lives.”

The Environment Minister also expressed pleasure at the ability to start the project in the beautiful rustic environment of St. George, referred to by its residents as their “natural country environment”, and he called on them to take ownership of the project and get involved in cleaning up their community.

Meanwhile, former Minister of Housing and Lands, Gline Clarke, giving the history behind the land and the wooded area being cleared said the project was started since 2006 when the land was given to Government by the Barbados Farms Ltd.

“Those persons readily accepted the fact that this wooded area should be given to the people of Locust Hall as well as Flat Rock; it comprises about five acres; and they also gave us, at that time, land to cut a sidewalk from Locust Hall right up to St. Helen and I thought it was a very good gift,” he said.

Mr. Clarke added that it was “a good project” being worked on by Government and urged the entire community to work together to keep it clean and green.

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