According to Leigh, the national tree planting venture was officially adopted in Sierra Leone on 5th June 1984 in adhering to the mandate of the convention for compliance as a member state.
Sierra Leone according to Leigh has measured up to the convention protocols annually by adopting the culture of planting trees and ornamentals for urban beatification and ecological restoration of critically degraded land nationwide in all walks of life.
“Trees and other vegetation make up the forest,” Leigh said, adding that forest is life because trees produce oxygen, water and soil nutrients that support life.
Leigh disclosed that trees are integral component of agricultural systems that improve soil fertility to achieve food security for man and livestock.
Responding, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Joseph Ndanema commended the Forestry unit in the ministry, noting that the presentation is symbolic and in line with the vision of the New Direction.
According to Ndanema it is the dream of the New Direction to rejuvenate the Sierra Leone forest reserve, adding that it is for the good of future generations yet unborn.
“We have made that mistake before when we did not pay attention to the forest,” Ndanema said, stating also that the country has seen the result of the Mortormeh incident which shows that we were not taking care of the forest,” he warned his audience.
He maintained that the ministry is determined to make sure the forests in Sierra Leone specifically in the urban areas of Freetown, Makeni, Bo and Kenema are given attention and rehabilitated as a matter of priority.
“We will never relent until we get accomplish this,” Mr. Ndanema said, adding that cities like Nairobi are located in forest areas which prevents the inhabitants from the effects of wind and water while reducing the prevalence of airborne and other diseases from occurring.