[Press Release]- Trinidad and Tobago, March 20, 2021 – A Climate Action partnership which includes Carbon Zero Institute of Trinidad and Tobago, the Exchange Farmers Association and Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance Trinidad & Tobago, along with the Association of Jamaicans Trinidad & Tobago (AJTT) will be celebrating World Forest Day under the banner: “Let us Plant a Mini-Forest in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Special activities of the day will include tree planting and a symbolic exchange of Jamaican Ackee Trees to be planted in an exotic fruit garden by Former President Anthony Carmona SC ORTT and His Excellency, Arthur H.W. Williams High Commissioner of Jamaica to promote culture and unity between Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica. The exotic garden will feature fruits from different Caribbean Islands.
The day was initiated by The United Nations General Assembly which proclaimed March 21st as the International Day of Forests in 2012 also known as World Forest Day. The day raises awareness of the importance of forests with the expectation that each country undertakes national efforts to plant trees and create their own unique campaigns. The Theme for year 2021 is “Forest Restoration: A Path to Recovery and Well-Being”.
The day is about fighting climate change and its devastating impacts to our land and shores. Trinidad and Tobago due to climate change along with Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean are experiencing extreme weather events, rapid coastal erosion, rise in sea levels, drying rivers and so much more. Organizers promote that tree planting on March 21st will make a difference given that one tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. This means it will sequester approximately 1 ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old.
Tree planting which will take place on Sunday March 21st on the Association of Farmers at Waterloo Road Couva, which was originally a cane field, will achieve all organisers’ missions and collective goals:
For the Exchange Farmers Association, the planting of the crops will help to reap financial benefits of sustainable incomes. This Association sells fresh fruits and vegetables weekly famers market.
The Carbon Zero Institute of Trinidad and Tobago (CZITT, pronounced as Seize it) develops and supports policies, programmes, and projects in mitigation of climate change. CZITT will launch its pilot project for a “Sustainable Agricultural Carbon Sink” with support from Nu-Iron Unlimited, a Point Lisas energy company. The pilot is intended to demonstrate the viability of agricultural produce intermixed with carbon sequestration in trees. It will share that tree planting reduces carbon footprint and offers the opportunity for businesses in the Couva/Point Lisas community to participate in carbon offsetting to fight climate change.
For PlantYuhROOTS a newly formed youth advocacy group together with Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance Trinidad and Tobago will promote their regional entity’s goal of planting 1 MILLION TREES in the Caribbean by the end 2021. The Regional Alliance also promotes that tree planting opens the opportunity to address food security and can also serve as a pathway to employment and empowerment for Caribbean.
For the Association of Jamaicans in Trinidad & Tobago which donated Ackee trees will share the importance of partnerships and trade between Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago
Several other environmental groups committed to climate action and environmental sustainability such as CANARI, Environment Tobago, BreadfruitTrees.com, Trust for Sustainable Livelihoods will join tree planning activities. Special thanks to IWEcoTT for tree donations and personal donations of volunteers.