Environment

Trees reduce impact of floods — Forestry Dept

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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The Forestry Department is appealing to those who planted seedlings as part of their Labour Day observance this year to water and nurture them to maturity, arguing that if the country had more trees planted on hillsides, the flooding from recent heavy rains would not have been as damaging.

“If we had more trees planted on our hillsides, we would see a reduction in flooding because the trees would help the soil to absorb that water to recharge our groundwater resources. However, because our hillsides are bare, we have all that water running off along with the soil, causing landslides and flooding,” CEO and Conservator of Forests Marilyn Headley noted.

She said that in addition to a reduction in storm water run-off, trees help to filter water and also helps with climate change adaptation and mitigation through the absorption and storage of greenhouse gases.

The Forestry Department reported that it distributed over 17,700 seedlings in observation of Labour Day 2017, and commended individuals and organisations that included tree planting in their Labour Day projects.

“The tree-planting exercise was the easiest part,” Headley said.

“Now that the trees have been planted, we need to ensure that we water them and take care of them so that they survive. Time and resources have been put into producing these seedlings, and you have also dedicated your time and resources in collecting and planting them. Let's not make all our efforts go to waste,” she urged.

Meanwhile, the agency says those who were unable to collect and plant trees during the current rainy season will have another opportunity to do so in September when it begins distribution for National Tree Planting Day, which will be observed on Friday, October 6.

This will be during the primary rainy season which runs from late September to November.

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