Letters to the Editor

Let's protect Jamaica's forests

Thursday, March 27, 2014    

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Dear Editor,

The dry weather in this parish has done us one favour. It has turned the grass brown on the hills overlooking Kingston, making very clear how little tree cover there is. It's the same story with the hillsides of the long, beautiful valley below Cinchona.

Just a few decades ago all our hills were forested. In another two or three decades we will be gazing in many places, not at brown grass, but at brown earth, ready to wash down on the houses below. Washing down too, with justice, on the Ministry of Agriculture, itself located directly below some of that now brown grass.

We have seen it happen in Haiti, with its one per cent forestation, hills and mountains that are just brown mud, and killer landslides when rainfall is extra heavy.

So what is our minister waiting for? When is tree planting on the hills going to start? But please, not with pines, which have been proven to not be best suited for Jamaican soil. Jamaica has several excellent hardwood varieties, as well as fast growers for interim cover for the short term. Seedlings should already be in hand to meet the coming rainy months.

Let's get on with the work.

Horace Levy






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