Jamaica’s Million Tree Challenge Takes Root This Labour Day

Well, it’s a tall order, but Jamaica is aiming to plant one million trees in the next couple of years – and 155,000 trees this year!  Kudos to the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport for supporting the National Environment and Planning Agency’s (NEPA) Trees for Life campaign this year, starting on Labour Day (May 23, the day after International Day for Biological Diversity).  Trees for Life is an initiative under the Yallahs Hope Project, which is a critical element in watershed protection on the island – funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of Jamaica.

NEPA’s Patrice Gilpin speaks at the launch of the Trees for Life initiative last year in Content Gap, St. Andrew. (My photo)

P.S. If you are wondering where to get your tree seedlings to plant on Labour Day, your first stop should be the Forestry Department… See details below. Some of the trees (for example, Poui, Blue Mahoe, Pride of Barbados and Jacaranda) are free! 

P.P.S. Don’t forget that after you have planted your trees, they will need some nurturing – especially regular watering; the weather is very hot. We must remember to maintain things once we have created something nice!

Here is NEPA’s press release dated May 9, 2017.

Jamaica’s Million Tree Challenge Takes Root This Labour Day

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has partnered in a campaign to plant 1-million trees to increase the island’s biodiversity. The initiative will start this Labour Day, May 23.

Speaking today at the launch of Workers’ Week and Labour Day activities under the theme, Restore, Preserve, Beautify, Culture Minister Olivia Grange said the Ministry is pleased to make tree planting part of its investment into the island’s biodiversity and natural environment.

“Each year, on May 22, Jamaica joins the world in celebrating International Day for Biological Diversity. This year, NEPA will launch its “Million Tree Challenge” which encourages Jamaicans to plant 1-million trees by June 30, 2019. In support of this Million Tree Challenge, and in recognition of the island’s 55 years of independence, the Ministry has committed to planting 155,000 trees island wide,” Minister Grange said.

A tree planted in Content Gap, St. Andrew. (My photo)

The Million Tree Challenge is a call to action, which forms part of the agency’s Trees for Life campaign launched in October 2016 by NEPA’s Integrated Management of the Yallahs and Hope River Watershed Management Areas Project (Yallahs Hope Project). It is aimed at increasing the island’s natural biodiversity and overall resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Trees planted in the island will form part of the United Nations’ Billion Tree Campaign. The campaign is led by the environmental group Plant-for-the-Planet and is aimed at planting 1 trillion trees worldwide.


For more information, please contact:

Patrice Gilpin; Communication Specialist, Integrated Management of the Yallahs and Hope River Watershed Management Areas Project.

Tel: 754-7540; Cell Phone: 352-0190; Email: patrice.gilpin@nepa.gov.jm  

Shaniek Parks; Manager, Public Education and Corporate Communication Branch

Tel: 754-7540, ext. 2430; Fax: 754-7596 Email: Shaniek.Parks@nepa.gov.jm Website: www.nep.gov.jm





8 thoughts on “Jamaica’s Million Tree Challenge Takes Root This Labour Day

    1. Thanks, Jhunelle! Yes – you can certainly get advice from the Forestry Department (don’t choose a huge tree if you have a small yard!) I also hope that this will be a continuous process, although it’s good to have a focus on it for Labour Day. Let us know which tree you plant!


  1. A great project! We strongly support! Trees That Feed Foundation, established 2008, has donated over 65,000 fruit trees in Jamaica, mostly breadfruit but also mango, avocado, cashew and other food producing trees! Fruit trees feed people, create jobs and benefit the environment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is just wonderful, Michael! I am so glad that your Foundation has donated trees that provide food. We need more agro industries to process the fruit, though, to provide real jobs in our rural areas. Congratulations and thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

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