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Forestry Focus 2013 aiming to make impact on major rural communities this year

Forestry Focus 2013 aiming to make impact on major rural communities this year


Forestry Focus, the annual event held by the Forestry Department to heighten awareness of the importance of the Forests to St Vincent and the Grenadines will be held here from September 2 to 27.{{more}}

The month long event was launched on Monday, September 2, at the compound of the Forestry Department at Campden Park.

A number of activities have been organised to mark the occasion which is being celebrated under the theme: “Forest Management Through Effective Community Empowerment” and the slogan: “Our Forests Need You: Embracing Nature for a Secure Future.”

According to the Forestry Department, Forestry Focus is used to bring into focus particular areas of development in forestry that have some measure of significance to members of the general public. Based on the accumulated experience of the Department, an approach has been used to target specific communities as a more effective way of creating an impact and this year, some of the major rural communities have been earmarked. This year the objectives will focus on providing persons with knowledge on how to fully manage and utilize the resources provided by the forests to earn a living. This is one way of assisting with the national poverty alleviation drive while sustaining the nation’s resources.

Senior forest supervisor Cornelius Richards, in addressing patrons at the launching of Forestry Focus 2013 on Monday, stated that the theme “comes at a time when the Forestry Department is rethinking its strategic approaches towards the management of our nations’ forest resources”.

He added that the department, and by extension St Vincent and the Grenadines, has recognized the need to fully explore the concepts of Participatory Forest Management, PFM, a globally accepted approach that promotes the inclusion of communities in the management of state owned forest and its resources. Some of the benefits he outlined include: Encouragement of co-management by communities living closest to the forests; reduction in the role of, and cost to the State in protecting the forest and the value of so doing; more effective protection of the forests and its resources, more so, the protection of local livelihood for a large number of rural households.

Some of the major activities include tree planting exercises on all ranges on September 9 and 13; a forest walk from Vermont to Cumberland on September 18; community outreach programmes at Chateaubelair, Barrouallie and North Windward on September 25; a social event for the Forestry staff on September 27, and radio programmes. The week opened with a church service on September 2.

The Forestry Department invites the participation of the public.