Jamaican mining company Noranda Bauxite has set a target of planting 200,000 trees over a three-year period, in support of the Government's National Tree Planting programme. The trees will be planted on arable lands under the company's care.
Noranda Bauxite's vice-president and general manager Delroy Dell made the announcement in an address to the St Ann Chamber of Commerce on October 31 at the company's Port Rhoades Sports Club Complex in Discovery Bay. The national tree planting initiative was launched by Prime Minister Andrew Holness on October 4, with a commitment to plant three million trees over a period of three years.
Holness said then that it was the “political flavour of the month to do, and the trees would create a strategic path to responding to the real issues of climate change”.
Dell told the St Ann chamber that the company's target will be contingent on the quantity of trees that can be made available by the Forestry Department, in line with the prime minister's programme.
He said that the Noranda programme will be managed in coordination with employees, neighbouring communities, the Jamaica Agricultural Society, the Rural Agricutural Development Authority, and the Forestry Department, and will be launched at a special Noranda Sustainable Mining Expo in Discovery Bay on December 4.
The Noranda general manager said that the tree planting will be a part of an upgraded rehabilitation programme on mined-out lands, that will commence this year, with the development of a number of experimental plots in partnership with small farmers, to determine what better variety of crops can be introduced on reclaimed lands.
“Once successful, we anticipate that the programme will grow and expand to help us take land rehabilitation to improved levels of productivity, change the uninformed perceptions of 'mining leaving holes in the ground', and point the way for farmers to utilise modern agricultural technology to boost their yields and income,” Dell said.
As reported by the jamaicaobserver.com¸ Noranda introduced greenhouse technology to farmers in its mining industry in 2009, as an alternative to crop farming in drought-stricken areas.