One local group in Dominica has its focus on saving the environment by spending one million hours planting trees on the island.
The Million Hour Tree Planting Project headed by Rhoda St. John was active last Monday, on Community Day of Service transporting plants to various neighbourhoods and overseeing proper planting techniques.
Speaking on site at Castle Bruce, Rhoda St. John described the work of the Million Hour Tree Planting Project.
“The project came about when we applied for grant funding under the GEF Small Grants Programme. We used that money to plant trees across Dominica that would help to conserve and protect the environment from the effects of climate change. One of the criteria that GEF Small Grants Programme dictated is that we match their funds in both cash and kind. We have been able to do that through the help of our very kind sponsors.”
St. John continued, “Those sponsors are LIME Dominica Ltd; Dominica Social Security; The National Bank of Dominica Ltd; Josephine Gabriel & Co Ltd; Rosalie Resort, and the Dominica Solid Waste Management Corporation among many other [organisations] including the Forestry Division , Local Government Authority and the Environmental Coordinating Unit. Those [organisations] saw the need to protect the environment and they came onboard as partners.”
Official at the Forestry Division, Meckeith George spoke about the tree planting project on National Day of Community Service.
“We have eleven communities to cover. We began in Portsmouth and we’re going along the east coast up until Soufriere including Castle Bruce. That’s why we‘re here today, “said George.
The project‘s leader, Rhoda St. John told the public how they can help protect the environment.
She said, “Persons who want to plant [trees] to protect the environment and work towards climate change and those who want to be a part of the project can give us a call at 767-295-9540. Then we can visit your community and assess the type of plants best suited for that area. We spent last week visiting areas because various communities called us for [Community Day of Service]. Then we made the plants available for persons to pick up so today we are back in those communities recording our hours, taking photos for documentation and ensuring that everything is properly done.”
The Million Hour Tree Planting Project engages youth volunteers to reduce land degradation and build resilience to climate change. The project is grant-funded by Generation of Opportunities through the GEF Small Grants Programme.
The project is expected to plant over 200,000 trees within a year.