The Ministry of Agriculture on Wednesday launched a National Tree Planting Initiative in its Board Room, away from fork and mud.
Instead, several plants were handed over to the Georgetown Municipality’s Town Clerk, Royston King in plastic bags.
The Ministry of Agriculture said the National Tree Planting Initiative is part of efforts in investing in a Green Economy to enhance food security, reduce poverty and improve nutrition
The event which was held under the theme, “Plant a Tree for a Green Economy” is on the Ministry’s calendar of activities for Agriculture Month 2015. It will focus on greening the economy with the aim of winning the battle against environmental degradation and economic decline through planting trees.
“The Government of Guyana has decided as a general policy to promote the development of a Green Economy as such, October 3rd 2015 will be designated as National Tree Planting day to promote a green environment in Guyana. The exercise will be spearheaded by His Excellency Brigadier (ret’d) David Granger,” he said.
Alluding to the importance trees play in climate change, Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder stated that every tree planted is another step forward in the country’s battle to save the planet.
He echoed the called for society to have a change in its mind set and come on board with the initiative, not because of the environmental contribution which the country stands to benefit, but the fact that it can reduce energy consumption for air conditioning and making heat less oppressive.
“Tree planting also fosters community spirit and pride, bringing people together for a meaningful purpose that can build bridges and promote the understanding that brings communities together,” the Minister added.
As trees grow, they contribute to reducing climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.
Town Clerk, Mayor and City Council Mr. Royston King while speaking of the importance of promoting a green economy, made a commitment to the initiative on behalf of the local community.
He called for more public education to raise awareness of the importance such an event can have on an economy.
Meanwhile, the benefits of trees and the need to also care for them were highlighted by Chief Executive Officer, National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI_, Dr. Oudho Homenauth.
Dr. Homenauth added that while the event will be formally launched on Saturday October 3 in Bartica, Region 7, President Granger, the Ministry will commence working with schools, NDCs, youth groups and farmers which are also target groups.
Throughout the initiative, the Ministry of Agriculture is committed to planting 150,000 fruit trees, but hopes to have this increased to 500,000 by the end of 2015.
The Mayor and city council of Georgetown will be planting 1000 trees within the municipality.
The launching of the initiative was chaired by Mr. Richard Haniff, Marketing Manager of the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) which closing remarks were delivered by Mr. George Jervis, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture.