Western News

'Stop cutting down trees for yam sticks'

... MP wants to protect the forests

BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter

Thursday, November 29, 2012    

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SAWYERS, Trelawny — Member of Parliament for South Trelawny Marissa Dalrymple Philibert wants an alternative to the cutting of trees for yam sticks as part of an overall effort to reduce deforestation.

South Trelawny communities such as Warsop, Troy, Sawyers, Wait- a- Bit, Albert Town, Ulster Spring depend on yam farming for the domestic and export markets.

Underscoring the need to preserve the forest, the South Trelawny MP lamented that down the years farmers have continued to deplete the woodlands.

"The farmers need the yam sticks but we cannot continue to cut out all the (trees) and use them for the yams," Dalrymple Philibert argued at the recent launch of the Sawyers Local Forest Management Committee (LFMC) in Trelawny.

Dalrymple said the time has now come when "we are facing the consequences of destroying all the greenery around us" and "must now tackle the problem".

"Here in South Trelawny we don't have the beaches and we don't have any great industry: we are a great farming community, proud industrious farmers and therefore we must embrace and encourage and work with the department so that we can preserve our forestry," she said.

Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill stressed the importance of the launch of the LFMC, because of among other things, Sawyers' closeness to the Cockpit Country, which produces

40 percent of Jamaica's fresh water.

He emphasised that the Cockpit Country was critical to the country's cultural and environmental heritage and should by all means be preserved and protected for generations to come.

Jesus Orus Baguena, Head of Operations at the Delegation of the European Union(EU) in Jamaica announced that the Caribbean states and the EU, last week agreed to allocate funding from the European Development Fund (EDF) to tackle Climate Change.

He pointed out that damage to property and infrastructure from events such as the recent passing of Hurricane Sandy imposed a heavy cost on society and the economy.

At the same time he emphasised that sectors which rely heavily on certain temperatures and precipitation levels, such as agriculture, forestry, energy and tourism, were most vulnerable.

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