Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Adrian Forde (right), and Forum Lead for the UNCTAD 15 Youth Forum, Roshanna Trim (left), planting the first of the 200 trees at the Nature’s Fun Ranch in Bruce Vale, St. Andrew, this morning. (GP)

The Ministry of the Environment and National Beautification has partnered with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to resume the National Tree Planting Project.

Approximately 200 fruit trees will be planted at Nature’s Fun Ranch in Bruce Vale, St. Andrew, to relaunch the initiative, which was impacted by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This morning Environment Minister, Adrian Forde, representatives and youngsters from the Fun Ranch and Barbados’ Youth Ambassador and Forum Lead for the UNCTAD 15 Youth Forum, Roshanna Trim, began the process of planting the trees.

Minister Forde emphasised to the young people present that they were the ones who would lead the charge in rebuilding a green and prosperous Barbados post-COVID -19.

“I said it before and I’ll say it again, the young people of this country must be the active players, as it relates to greening this country and our economic thrust of a green economic post-COVID recovery.  There is a maxim I have started at the ministry… and that is “Trees Save Lives’.  I want every young person in this country to recognise that this is the way forward.  We are committed to the international thrust as it relates to the United Nations and the General Assembly’s call to have, by 2030, all the Sustainable Development Goals realised.  And, we as a small country understand our commitment to these goals.

“What we have also made an international commitment to, is that there must be a decade of restoration; a restoration which speaks to the way we build back our forestry and how we are able to increase our biodiversity.  So, what we are doing today is very important to the survival of our country,” he underscored.

The Environment Minister added that there were plans in the works for Arbor Day next month, to have every Barbadian take part in greening and reforesting the island, but did not go into further details.

Ms. Trim thanked the Ministry for facilitating the tree planting initiative.  She said they wanted to get started prior to the UNCTAD 15 Youth Forum, which takes place from September 16 to 18 under the theme Pull up: Change di Riddim.

“The forum creates a great opportunity for us to discuss climate resilience and the responsibility and obligation of the countries around the world to…achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.  So, this is definitely one of those initiatives that we had to have happen.

“This centres around the recognition that as a small island developing state, Barbados has always had a strong stance on climate resilience and sustainable development.  We also believe that it is now time to highlight security in the region; how we can produce food for our population and how we can start the ball rolling as it relates to climate change.  And so, the Million Trees initiative was one we believed was fundamental and at the core of this, as well as the economy.  These are some of the things we will talk about at the forum,” Ms. Trim explained.

The trees will be watered by a drip irrigation system fed by two 1,000 gallon tanks located at the ranch, taking into account the fact that Barbados is a water-scarce country.

melissa.rollock@barbados.gov.bb

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