Discovery Bauxite adds 136,000 trees to National Tree Planting Programme
THE Government’s National Tree Planting Programme has received significant support from Discovery Bauxite, with a total of 136,000 trees planted by company employees and local community residents across St Ann.
According to Vice-President & Country Manager Deloy Dell, employees maintained a sustained effort during 2023 to continue the planting across its mining areas, in spite of severe drought periods as well as the prolonged effects of COVID-19 which slowed the programme.
Dell said that following the national launch in October 2019 Discovery Bauxite adopted the initiative as part of the company’s long-established land rehabilitation and restoration programmes over many years, which have seen thousands of trees planted across the bauxite landscape.
“Our main tree-planting exercise is an ongoing partnership over 70 years that includes the protection of forest reserves; heritage sites; protection of water tables; and restoration of mined-out lands for agriculture, community use, and for housing,” said Dell.
He was supported by the company’s Mining Superintendent Albert Henry who said Discovery Bauxite’s goal in regard to the specific national programme was 200,000 trees by 2023.
“The prolonged drought set back our plans but we expect to continue this year to plant and surpass that number as employees are proud of their status as number one tree planters across the private sector,” said Henry.
He referred to Labour Day 2022 when 100 employees and 150 community residents planted a record 15,000 trees — including ackees, cedar, mahoe, Spanish elm, apples, pimento, mahogany, and jackfruit on three locations — on rehabilitated lands.
Discovery Bauxite also participated in World Environment Day activities on Monday, June 5 last year, with 25 employees visiting seven primary schools in the company’s operating area to share the values of environment protection by planting trees and launching a plastic bottle collection drive competition among the schools.
The Forestry Department has been the main provider of fruit and lumber trees for the bauxite company’s programme.
The department’s Chief Executive Officer Ainsley Henry has described the company’s input as, “mining finding common ground with forestry”, and said the effort is in complete alignment with the national initiative which is to support national development in climate adaptation, reforestation, and the establishment of green spaces.