Coordinator of the ‘We Plantin’ More Than A Million National Tree Planting Project’, Dr. Chelston Brathwaite (right), and Chairman of the Group of Innotech Companies, Anthony DaSilva, planting a Frangipani tree at Hope Plantation, St. Lucy, yesterday. (S.Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

The planting of trees is one of the cheapest ways of arresting the challenge of climate change.

This is according to Coordinator of the ‘We Plantin’ More Than A Million National Tree Planting Project’, Dr. Chelston Brathwaite, who was speaking at the launch of the project at Hope Plantation, Hope, St. Lucy, this morning. 

He explained that trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; reduce greenhouse gases and protect the environment.

Dr. Brathwaite stated that the project has three dimensions. The first is environmental objectives, which are to promote Barbados as a country that complies with its international commitments with respect to climate change and promoting a culture of greater respect for the environment.

It involves educating our population about environmental issues; enhancing the landscape by beauty from trees; reducing soil erosion and the retention of water; and encouraging the more productive use of land, thus reducing undesirable vegetation and overgrown lots as well as creating a more pleasant atmosphere.

The second dimension is economic benefits, which seeks to promote the increase in  production of tropical fruits as well as the production of medicinal plants; produce more wood for furniture, building materials and souvenirs; promote the development of more nurseries, agro-industries based on trees; and provide additional tree management services.

Community development is the third dimension. It is designed to promote more community cooperation by involving people in the community in tree planting activities, the development of back yard gardening, and an awareness of environmental issues within schools.

This dimension also seeks to promote mobility tourism in rural areas by promoting Barbados’ natural heritage, as well as encouraging more green spaces, which should see the return of birds, bees and butterflies to the environment.

Dr. Brathwaite mentioned that not only Barbados has such a project but several countries around the world have also implemented initiatives to plant millions, even billions of trees, including China, India, Mexico, France, Peru, Nigeria and the United States of America.

The Coordinator of the We Plantin’ More Than A Million National Tree Planting Project said: “By planting trees, we commit to the future of joining the world community, in implementing strategies and actions, that will reduce the rate of climate change, thus, creating a more sustainable world, for our children and grandchildren.”

At the launch, a presentation of a cheque of BDS $25,000 was made by Chairman of the Group of Innotech Companies, Anthony DaSilva, to Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Trevor Prescod. 

Innotech is the first private sector entity to donate to the project, and Mr. DaSilva stated that it was his contribution to what he deems a worthwhile project.  He urged the private sector to join in helping the Ministry reach its objective of planting more than one million trees in 2020. 

sheena.forde-craigg@barbados.gov.bb

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