Letters to the Editor

We need the trees!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

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Dear Editor,

I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree. — Trees, Joyce Kilmer

Here in Jamaica, referred to as the land of wood and water, this sentiment sadly appears absent in planning for development.

Everywhere you look trees are being destroyed to be either replaced with concrete or, worse, for no apparent reason.

Trees are vital to our existence as they provide us with oxygen, shade, store carbon, provide a habitat for wildlife, stabilise the soil, provide us with food and material for shelter, give off moisture that encourages rain, to name a few benefits.

Trees that provide shade cut energy costs and cool buildings. They make our surroundings tranquil and help reduce noise. Studies around the world have shown that tree-lined streets add as much as 20 per cent value to properties and increase business. Planting trees along busy roads has also proven to slow traffic.

The Jamaican formula for development is to bulldoze all trees and vegetation, then lay marl and compact it as foundation. This creates an environment that will not allow trees to flourish so all new developments in Jamaica will never have tree canopy.

Instead of destroying this divine canopy, we need to revere it. Build around trees if possible, or replant if you must remove one. Children in schools need to be educated on their numerous benefits. Perhaps schools could plant food trees to eventually supply their school kitchens. Maybe prisoners could be used to plant trees along roadways to beautify, clean and cool our island.

A concerted effort must be made by all to truly make Jamaica. once again, the land of wood and water.

Jane Issa


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