Skilled hands are needed to care for the one million trees to be planted across Barbados’ landscape and to maintain the sites established under the Clean and Green programme.
Manager of the National Botanical Gardens, Nigel Jones, made this call as he addressed a World Children’s Day Rally in the gardens recently.
He added that skilled hands would also be needed to manage the Barbados National Park, the Scotland District, the mangroves and coastal woodlands and all of the green spaces.
While acknowledging that for the first time the discipline of Dendrology was included in the National Development Scholarship list, Mr. Jones said: “What we are doing here is building capacity that would allow us to competently manage and even reduce Barbados’ green deficit. These specialised training programmes can only be viewed as future investments because addressing the island’s green deficit going forward requires an assortment of specialist skills.”
The Manager of the National Botanical Gardens added that such skills would be integral in managing the 500 hectares of botanical landscape at Waterford, St. Michael in both the national and international gardens.
During his address, Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, Adrian Forde, also urged the students present to consider careers in the sciences, particularly in the area of ecology.
“I want us to start looking at those things in the area of ecology so that our environment will be preserved so that our biodiversity is preserved. It is incumbent on you to take responsibility for your country,” he said.
The Minister advised the young people to consider becoming experts in the area of dendrology so they could manage the country’s gullies and ecosystems.
“The importance of this is to encourage you, young people to get involved in those things that would cost you your own survival…. In the same way you would think about being a doctor or lawyer, being a Minister or even the Prime Minister, there are other avenues I want you to explore if we, as a country, will be able to say to the rest of the world we have the experts here to deal with the gullies and ecosystem,” he said.
Mr. Forde added that understanding the sciences, through the study of the soil, trees, the marine space, and fruits among other things, was important to the survival of Barbados.