Nine individuals and entities have been honoured as forest heroes by the Forestry Department for outstanding contribution to the development of the forest sector in Jamaica.
They are the Lasco Releaf Environmental Awareness Programme (REAP) in the public education category; Jamaica Observer reporter, Kimone Thompson in the media category; Windsor Research Centre, as an environmental non-governmental organisation; Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) as a state partner; Sawyers Local Forest Management Committee in the community-based organisation category; the Multicare Youth Foundation as a non-governmental organisation; and Jamaica Money Market Brokers in the corporate category.
Private foresters Roger Turner and William Masterton were awarded in the private forestry category.
They each received a citation and a handcrafted yellow and green leaf mounted on an oak base, during a Forest Heroes Awards luncheon held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Tuesday (June 26) to mark the 80th anniversary of the Forestry Department.
Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Department and Conservator of Forests, Marilyn Headley, said the awards ceremony, which is in its second staging, aims to “provide visibility for the recipients to enable them to promote and expand their reach by sharing knowledge and experience to those waiting to carry the mantel of forest stewardship”.
The first awards ceremony was held in 2013 with four honourees.
Ms. Headley thanked the recipients for their impactful work and expressed the hope that the recognition will serve to motivate them to continue to lobby for and protect the country’s forest resources.
“We want this event to serve as encouragement to everyone here today to play a greater part in helping to protect our forests and safeguarding our future, and to show the rest of Jamaica that it can be done,” she added.
Forest heroes, who were nominated by Forestry Department staff, were recognised for contributing a minimum of two consecutive years to the development of the forest sector.
An additional four entities were recognised during the ceremony for their contribution. They are Scotiabank, Jamaica Public Service, Constitution Hill Local Forest Management Committee and the National Land Agency.
The keynote speaker for the event was the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska.
By: Denise Dennis