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Contact: Shannon Lebourne



Monday, March 19, 2012 – The Ministry of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport is urging people engaged in acts of deforestation along the west coast to desist from doing so.


A drive along the west coast on any given day presents real life evidence of deforestation and the problems associated with such practices.


Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport Alison Jean says officials have recognised an increase in deforestation along the West Coast to aid in the production of charcoal.    “We are collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture, NEMO and also the reconstruction Unit in the Ministry of Finance so we are not acting alone, a lot of the deforestation activities is for economic benefit, we have seen evidence that people are cutting the forest area for charcoal and although there is some economic benefit it has the ripple effect of devastation on our infrastructure as it is one of the main causes of landslides”.


The Permanent Secretary says her Ministry intends to continue discussing with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Production and other stakeholders to see how best the issue can be dealt with.


However, she says the necessary interventions will be guided by the results of a Land Risk Assessment to be undertaken soon. “One of the interventions we have already made is to commission a Land Risk Assessment along our primary road network that will be funded by the Caribbean Development Bank.   We are in the process of awarding a contract for that study which should be done in a month or so.  That land risk assessment is expected to make recommendation on the type of interventions which are necessary to mitigate against any further landslides but of course we have to let the public know that deforestation is one of our major concerns and we would like to ask them to desist from doing so.


The Permanent Secretary says she is hoping for the cooperation of all citizens to curb this problem as the effects of deforestation can be devastating.

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