St. Vincent and the Grenadines is leading in the Caribbean, and is ahead of several other countries in an effort to plant 100 Million Trees by 2017.
More than 70 schools and community groups in St. Vincent have registered for the first Environment Online (ENO) Treelympics, in which more than 100 other countries are participating.
Schools in the ENO Programme aim to plant 100 Million Trees by 2017, a commitment ENO gave at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20 Summit) in Brazil in June 2012.
ENO is a global virtual school and network for sustainable development. Since its launch in 2000, over 100,000 schools in 157 countries have joined ENO and made concrete deeds for the environment like planting trees.
Two annual ENO tree planting days take place annually — May 22 (UN Biodiversity Day) and Sept. 21 (World Peace Day).
The theme for May 22, 2014 is “Trees for life”. Trees play a vital role in rural and urban populations. They are needed to enrich and anchor soil, to maximize water supplies, to beautify and humanise townships and urban areas and to provide shade and shelter. They are also crucial for biodiversity conservation.
Products and services from trees include food, timber, fibre, medicines and energy. The impact of planting trees is one of the ways of offsetting our carbon emissions.
ENO Treelympics invited the Ministry of the Environment to mobilize SVG to participate. The ministry gathered a wider group from various ministries and NGO’s to participate in the Treelympics.
Local groups like The Richmond Vale Academy is helping the schools register.
The winner in the overall effort will be the environment and everyone who is involved in tree planting, because it is part of securing a sustainable future for our nation.
ENO Treelympics has a price, and the Ministry of the Environment will have local prices for SVG.
Registration of schools and community groups is open until May 22 and the actual tree planting competition closes Oct. 24, 2014.
All schools, church groups, police youth groups, environment groups, culture groups or individuals can register for the competition at www.treelympics.org, before the May 22 deadline.
Groups needing assistance can contact Richmond Vale Academy at 458-2255.