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PCCU partners in tree planting project

PCCU partners in tree planting project


On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, over one 100 species of fat pork, neem and sea grape plants were planted at the Richmond seafront. This project dubbed, the ‘Richmond Coastal Conservation Initiative’, is a partnership between the Police Cooperative Credit Union, the Department of Forestry, Richmond Vale Academy{{more}} and National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority to stabilize the Richmond Beach and to help prevent further erosion.

President of PCCU Junior Simmons said the event formed part of the schedule of activities in the union’s celebration of its 12th anniversary under the theme ‘The PCCU in retrospect, introspect and prospect: building on a solid foundation’. He said that the PCCU is happy to partner with the aforementioned institutions in putting defensive measures in place to mitigate further erosion at the Richmond Beach, which has been battered by numerous storms over the years.

Simmons told the gathering that the challenges and effects of climate change are no longer a distant threat to our way of life and flora and fauna, but it has come home in Richmond and other parts of St Vincent and the Grenadines; therefore, precautionary measures are necessary.

The president stated that the effects of rise in sea level, storm surges and severe flooding in the Richmond area seriously impacts on the residents’ livelihoods because the beach is a vital source of economic activity and sustenance for them.

Simmons stated that the trees planted will be nurtured by all of the stakeholders until they grow to maturity. He called on the residents of the area to play a role in ensuring the plants survive and thrive. According to Simmons, one way in which this can be done is by not allowing animals to be tethered on the area where the trees are planted.

Joel Poyer, forestry officer at the Department of Forestry, stated that over the years, he has been fighting to get Richmond Beach back to how it used to be. To this end, he said the project makes him feel a lot better. According to Poyer, Richmond is a heritage of St Vincent and the Grenadines, because there are numerous activities that transpire there in terms of livelihood for the residents, including fishing, and tri-tri catching, among others.

Poyer stated that that over the years, the Richmond Beach has been experiencing deterioration, caused both by man and by nature. He added that climate change and global warming is seriously on us and as a result, the Richmond Beach has been feeling the full impact of it. Poyer said that that with the Richmond Coastal Conservation Initiative he is confident that Richmond would be restored to what is was before.

Selwyn Patterson, a teacher at the Richmond Vale Academy, said that the academy is a happy stakeholder in the project. According to Patterson, the academy has been planting trees since 2013 and has joined hands with partners throughout the world to plant one hundred billion trees.

He highlighted the academy’s moringa tree planting drive and its first place position for the smallest country that participated in the United Nations Tree-lympics. According to Patterson, the December 2013 storm severely eroded the road leading to the Richmond Beach because there were not sufficient buffers to slow down water; hence, the planting of the trees is to minimize the effects of similar occurrences in the future.