The Tree Planting Day was first launched in 1982 as National Wood and Water Day in an effort to highlight the need for watershed protection. It has evolved to what we now observe today – a day where every Jamaican is encouraged to get involved in protecting our island’s environmental health.
The PSOJ is playing our part by joining with the Prime Minister’s tree planting initiative for three million trees over a three year period - 3 in 3!!
We at the PSOJ have committed to the planting of 500,000 of those trees and we are working closely with the Forestry Dept which is leading the initiative.
Our member companies within the private sector have responded favourably.
In fact, we currently have a promotion called Plant Up JA in partnership with the Forestry Department where customers who purchase one seedling will receive another seedling free courtesy of PSOJ member – New Fortress Energy.
In these times of the existential threat of climate change we must protect those services provided by natural ecosystems that can help to reduce the impact of unpredictable, varying and extreme climate events. Floods, droughts, hurricanes, storms, excessive heat .
Trees are the LUNGS of the earth – absorbing carbon dioxide, and producing pure, clean oxygen - air exchange that supports life in many forms - Green lungs are a wonderful gift. Without our lungs as human beings we could not survive!! Covid attacks our lungs. Without clean air our respiratory system can be compromised.
Trees actually improve air quality by capturing airborne pollutants, When trees are present, there can be up to 60% less particulate matter in the air. Ever notice how good the air feels in a forest? Or in the tree covered mountains? During this pandemic era many persons have been yearning for or travelling out to the mountains and to the countryside to take in fresh air and relaxing vistas. We need trees.
Let us all take the opportunity to plant and to preserve. Whether you plant trees around your home, in your community or in a forest you will help to combat climate change and to cleanse the air, you will have cooler and more aesthetic surroundings.
Although today is National Tree Planting Day, I charge everyone to take on the challenge to plant at least one tree every month. The impact of that small action will be so great and felt for generations to come. To quote Prime Minister Holness, we are not saying we’re planting trees because it sounds good or it is now the political flavour of the month to do, we’re planting trees because it is a strategic path of our response to the real issues of climate change.