Principal of Charles F. Broome Primary, Hortence Carrington plants a tree to observe Arbor Day. Looking on is third-form??????student?? Trinity Wall.

Developers have been urged to do more to protect and preserve trees around the island, and not wantonly destroy them!

This appeal has come from Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Lionel Weekes, who has underscored the need for all of us to continue the important task of "saving the environment in which we live by planting more trees".

Mr.?? Weekes’ comments were made this morning, while delivering remarks on behalf of Minister of the Environment, Dr. Denis Lowe, at a ceremony to mark National Arbor Day, at the Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary School. The event, scheduled for last Wednesday, September 22, was postponed due to the inclement weather.

The Permanent Secretary told his audience, which included environmentalists, students and teachers that the National Conservation Commission (NCC) would continue to embark on programmes that would encourage the general populace to plant trees on a year-round basis, where possible.

Edrick Burnett , President of the Kiwanis Club of Barbados Central and Adje Eversley of Charles F. Broome take pride in????planting a tree?? following today’s Arbor Day ceremony.

"The Ministry will provide the necessary technical support for conducting an island-wide assessment of existing trees, since it has been recognised that many of the trees are slowly dying and lack of technical expertise in this field is a challenge.

"The Commission is hopeful that some training opportunities in dendrology [the study of trees] will address this need, since it will be counter-productive to plant trees year after year and there is no follow-up programme by trained professionals," he added.

As part of its ongoing programme to reforest the island, Mr. Weekes noted, the NCC in 2007 the NCC embarked on a project, in collaboration with the Organisation of American States, aimed at planting 80,000 trees over a five-year period. He pointed out that to date, thanks to the impetus of the schools, youth groups, 4-H Clubs, governmental departments and corporate Barbados, approximately 20,000 trees had been planted across the island.

The Permanent Secretary said Government would be shortly going to Cabinet with a prospectus related to a scoping study for the Green Economy. He maintained that while Barbados recognised that "we are not one of the countries responsible for the impacts of climate change, we still have a role to play."

"I must stress that the importance to the development of civilisation cannot be understated. Trees play a critical role in the day-to-day lives of people…therefore, I urge you to be more proactive in enhancing and preserving our fragile ecosystem so that not only we can benefit, but the other generations to come," Mr. Weekes concluded.

In addressing the ceremony, Chairman of the NCC, Tyrone Lowe, stated that environmental awareness was "taking root" within a number of organisations, with some pressing ahead to plant trees as planned on Arbor Day, despite the inclement weather.

Deeming it necessary to "fight the threat to our ecosystem by planting trees," Mr. Lowe said the NCC’s?? focus would be on the youth.

Eight trees were planted around the school’s perimeter following the ceremony. cgaskin@barbados.gov.bb

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