While noting that a number of beaches now need considerable surgical repairs because of the hurricanes, Minister of Natural Resources Dr Kedrick Pickering said government will be importing trees to reforest local beaches.
A number of plant life such as grape and coconut trees were rooted out by the September hurricanes, which not only robbed beaches of an added aesthetical appeal but also left the territory’s shores vulnerable.
“The biggest problem is going to be re-vegetation of the beaches,” said Dr Pickering, who noted that government needs to be selective as it relates where trees are imported from.
Pests come in trees
“It’s not as simple as saying we’re just bringing in trees, and we can’t just bring trees from Miami to put on our beaches because those are coming from a different climate. So we have to be mindful of that. So, more than likely the trees are going to come from within the Caribbean,” Dr Pickering said.
The natural resources minister also stated that Government is considering to import vegetation from St Vincent and the Grenadines.
“The Minister of Agriculture from St Vincent had visited the BVI and they had promised to help the BVI with the whole question of agriculture and forestation, so we are in dialogue with them.”
“But, we have to clear the hurdles to make sure that we don’t bring in any pests and any other invasive species that might cause us problems. But that’s going to be a medium to long-term problem even after we physically clean up the beaches, and so we are working on that,” said Dr Pickering.
The minister, who was speaking at a community meeting in Carrot Bay yesterday, did not state how many trees will be imported or what it will cost the government to ship trees into the BVI.
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