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Forestry Dept to restore mangroves and swamps

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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THE Forestry Department will be carrying out a number of initiatives for the restoration of the island's mangroves and swamps as part of an expanded mandate to reforest significantly depleted areas.According to the department, following a land use assessment conducted between 1998 and 2013, it was found that the two forest types have been depleted by some 98 per cent. The report from this assessment, it said, formed the basis for the National Forest Management and Conservation Plan, which specifies line actions for the restoration of the forest types.

Senior research officer at the Forestry Department, Brahim Diop told JIS News that, based on the report, it was determined that the department should lead a concerted national effort in this regard.

“These two forest types are particularly important for climate change adaptation, so, we decided. and other stakeholders have seen the importance of the Forestry Department having management responsibility over mangroves and swamp forests found on government-owned lands,” he said.

Diop said the Forestry Department has been working with the Port Royal and Discovery Bay marine labs, as well as the National Environment and Planning Agency to carry out reforestation activities.

“We want to build the capacity within all the organisations so all are at the same level when it comes to mangrove and swamp restoration,” he noted.

He said a technical working group will have oversight of the activities. This group will also be overseeing restoration of closed broadleaf forests, such as the Blue and John Crow Mountains.

“Even though the quantity has not been reduced, the quality has been; so for every forest type, we have actions within our plan to deal with it,” Diop said.

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