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Sunday 22 October 2017
News

Reforestation locally to mitigate climate change

The Forestry Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries has a number of activities in the pipeline to mitigate climate change in agriculture including producing over one million forest seedlings to reforest plantations and degraded sites over the next year.

This is according to the Forestry Division which said in a release that it will establish over 220 hectares of land annually in project-based reforestation programmes.

A start in this direction has been made by the St Michael Hillside Demonstration Station.

Other projects include having “an active and proactive” Forestry Information Unit that visits schools, communities including farmers, and educating all on forestry issues and agro forestry, and the establishment of a Forestry Incentive Unit with 2,100 registered private farmers to encourage planting of forest trees on unoccupied lands.

Another forestry management in agricultural practices will involve the planting of forest trees among cocoa and coffee trees on plantations in Gran Couva Estate, Northern Range and the Hillside Demonstration Stations at Caura Valley and Maracas, St Joseph.

These actions, the ministry said, “is to sustainably manage the nation’s forests to ensure that they are abundant, ecologically healthy, biologically diverse and contribute to the well being of all people and to the national economy for current and future generations.”

The release noted that slash and burn agriculture, deforestation, land degradation through mining and human development have caused additional negative burden on the forests an as such the focus on reforestation.

The Forestry Division’s goal, the ministry said, is to sustainably manage the forest resources of Trinidad and Tobago, contribute to the sustainable development of the country, and enhance the quality of human life while at the same time protecting biological diversity and ecological processes.

The release quoted the Food and Agriculture Organisation as saying that 350 square acres of forest cover are destroyed daily worldwide, and climate change is one element that plays a mitigating factor in this.

Climate change has affected the world and Trinidad and Tobago is not insulated, the ministry said. “There is a microclimatic change occurring over the last 30 years because of deforestation.”

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