Radhica De Silva
Despite its small size, T&T is among the top five countries with the highest carbon emissions worldwide.
But economist Dr Roget Hosein and his team from the Sustainable Unemployment Reduction Efforts group is determined to begin the process of decarbonizing T&T by planning fruit trees in open spaces across the country.
The project began today at the Pitch Lake facility in La Brea. Students from several schools including Vessigny High School, Naparima College, Naparima Girls High School and Presentation College assisted in the initiative.
Hosein said they chose to plant fruit trees so that citizens could share in the produce.
“ Fruit trees have the benefit of pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. T&T is the second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world and by planting fruit trees some basic contribution can be made towards reducing our food import bill which is about US$700- 800 million per year,” Hosein said.
He added, “ If we could bring that down to US$300 million, we could use that US$500 million towards buying capital machinery, medicine and school supplies.”
He explained that T&T’s economy will continue to shrink so it was up to the people to put measures in place to become self-sufficient.
“The T&T economy is not getting better. As a consequence with persistent negative growth, we the people of T&T, not the PNM and not the UNC but we the people have to come together and do what is needed,” he said.
He called on non-governmental organisations and other civic groups to join forces and do practical ventures to help T&T’s growth and economy.
Meanwhile, MP for La Brea Nicole Ollivierre said the tree planting exercise in La Brea will add beauty to the Pitch Lake. She said they also planned to plant flowering trees and plants so as to encourage more hummingbirds and butterflies in the area.