First Lady launches national tree planting exercise on Earth Day

First Lady, Her Excellency Arya Ali, on the occasion of Earth Day, commenced a national tree planting exercise which will form part of her National Beautification Project.

“This aspect of the National Beautification Project focuses on environmental sustainability. As Guyana continues to accelerate plans to further develop its oil resources, it is equally important for attention to be placed on environmental sustainability,” the First Lady said.

The tree planting exercise, which was done at the National Park, was a joint initiative involving the National Agricultural Research and Extension institute (NAREI), the Protected Areas Commission (PAC), and several non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The First Lady noted that tree planting is one of the most environmentally friendly activities which has a multitude of benefits. “Trees help to remove and store carbon from the atmosphere while enhancing air quality. These plants have additional benefits since they produce food,” she added.

This year is being observed as international year of fruits and vegetables, so in keeping with global efforts to promote food security, fruit trees were planted.  Among the fruit trees planted were guava, cherry and mango.

In several other locations across Georgetown, these plants were distributed by NAREI to other groups which planted them. Some of these groups included Seawalls and Beyond, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) women’s arm, and Youths for Better Living (YBL).

Students from the Bishops’ High School also participated in the exercise, planting several trees in the school’s compound.

“It is my hope that we recognize the importance of planting trees and try our very best to contribute to these efforts. It can be as simple as planting a fruit tree in your yard or even a flower tree,” Mrs Ali said.

During the course of the next four years, several other tree planting activities will organized across the country. The National Beautification Project relies on scenic conservation and revitalization, with specific emphasis on scenic enhancement, environmental sustainability, and public education.