Those persons planning to display their wares at this year’s National Arbor Day Expo should begin registering now, since the deadline to return completed forms is Tuesday, August 31.

Government departments, non-governmental organisations and entrepreneurs with an interest in the environment or whose core business is the provision of products or services that are derived from trees may exhibit at the Expo.

To register, potential exhibitors must contact Ricardo Marshall or Beverley White at the National Conservation Commission (NCC) at 425-1200, 1202 or 1212. Alternatively, they may also log on to and download a registration form, which must be completed and submitted to the NCC’s Codrington, St. Michael, headquarters.Exhibitors will not be charged a fee and they will be allowed to sell their products/services at the Expo.

Additionally, service clubs and community organisations, including church and school groups, may also participate in the Expo which will be held on Saturday, September 25, in Queen’s Park from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., under the theme "Trees: The Circle of Life".

National Arbor Day is celebrated annually on September 22 and is set aside as a day to plant trees. Therefore, the primary objective of the Expo is to promote the importance of trees through a practical/interactive demonstration that highlights the many products and services consumed and utilised daily, which are derived from trees.

During the Expo, there will be workshops focusing on a number of pertinent areas, including plant care, plant propagation, and the identification and eradication of pests and diseases that affect plants.

Special Projects Officer at the NCC, Ricardo Marshall, disclosed that "there will be a massive plant sale" running concurrently with the Expo, offering up to 20 per cent discounts on selected plants. He said: "As is customary, the Commission will also be donating a limited number of trees to the public. Schools, as well as community, service or church groups are encouraged to contact the Commission indicating brief specifics on their planting exercise and the number of trees required."

Underscoring the importance of the Expo, Mr. Marshall surmised that it would raise the environmental consciousness of the population regarding trees and their role, benefits and importance to our survival.

"Environmental issues affect every living thing in Barbados, from the smallest parasite to the human race… A single disruption in the earth’s delicate balance can mean certain destruction of the very place that cradles the lives of many species. Indeed, this island is not immune to these issues and subsequent consequences.

"One such issue that requires consideration is deforestation. Trees have been or are being cut down at increasingly high rates, whereas the importance of planting and maintaining trees is not seen as priority. If this is not stopped, many unfavorable side effects could result," he lamented.

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