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Sir Molwyn Joseph, the Health and Environment Minister, has launched Arbor Month, 2023, in Antigua and Barbuda.
The minister praised the country for being a leader in environmental protection at a regional and international level.
He highlighted the country’s decision to ban single-use plastics and Styrofoam, despite initial controversy.
The success of this initiative has inspired other nations, with Antigua and Barbuda’s experience being shared with the government and people of Kenya.
This led to the creation of a United Nations Treaty for all nations to adopt programs that eliminate single-use plastic bags.
The Environment Minister emphasized that this achievement is not just of politicians but for the people themselves.
He revealed that an officer of the department is working on the document’s final text that will go before the UN for adoption.
Antigua and Barbuda also plans to establish a plastic recycling facility next year, where discarded plastic will be turned into chairs, tables, and other items.
Other achievements include getting Redonda declared a World Heritage Site, a drainage project in the McKinnons and Cashew Hill Areas, and the retrofitting of 10 churches to make them better suited as hurricane shelters.
The department will distribute over 10,000 fruit trees to residents on Arbor Day, November 24, with a second distribution planned for January.
The minister encouraged the department to double the number of trees planted, as the planting of trees is part of the country’s efforts to preserve the environment.
The theme for Arbor Day, 2023, is “Is Sustaining Our Roots, Cultivating Our Future, Let’s Get Ready.”