#TheCaribbean, April 22, 2022 — Preparing to celebrate the achievement of its commitment to plant 10,000 trees, the Sandals Foundation is expanding its conservation goal by adding an additional 10,000 trees to build climate resilience and food security in the Caribbean.
The massive conservation effort is in line with this year’s global Earth Day theme, “Investing in our planet”, and builds on the foundation’s broader commitment to the tree planting project. Caribbean Trees, which is coordinated by the Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance in conjunction with the Trees That Feed Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative and other partners.
Last April, the teams together announced plans to plant one million trees in 14 Caribbean countries by June this year. Now, with over 9,600 ornamental and food trees already planted by the Sandals Foundation and its partners, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International is raising the stakes.
“The environment around us is not just our home, but everything that keeps us alive,” said Heidi Clarke, executive director of the Sandals Foundation. “Investing in the long-term sustainability of these natural environments will help strengthen the many ecosystems that are essential to provide food, water and protect our communities and livelihoods, thereby improving the way of life in the region. for locals and tourists.”
- Region specific activities
Aside from its tree-planting mission, here in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Sandals Foundation plans to implement community composting training with the goal of enhancing food security, increasing solid waste management and to adopt climate-smart agricultural practices. The island of Providenciales is known to have much less fertile soil with limited farmers or localized sources of produce. Now, through its Beaches Turks and Caicos complex, team members will lead composting efforts, providing students and farmers from surrounding communities with the opportunity to learn, participate and share learned knowledge and practices. with their communities.
“Environmental education is an important part of our conservation efforts,” said Georgia Lumley, environmental coordinator at the Sandals Foundation. “By collaborating with key organizations, students learn the importance of protecting the environment and endangered species while participating in the execution of activities through eco-camps and field trips.”
In Barbados, the Foundation’s conservation efforts will see the enhancement and enhancement of the eco-offer and experience at the Historic Botanical Gardens of Andromeda by adding an ethnobotanical garden with a outdoor classroom, creative signage and the planting of 30 trees. The Sandals Foundation, in conjunction with park managers, Passiflora Limited, creates a refuge for native and regional plants, their cultural uses, associated biodiversity, and a resource for the Barbadian community.
Last year, with support from the Sandals Foundation, the Grenada Fund for Conservation planted 4,000 mangroves. Now, with upcoming infrastructural improvements and the training of community guides at the Woburn Interpretive Centre, the initiatives will strengthen the island’s coastline and build on their efforts to encourage ecotourism respectively.
In Jamaica, more than 2,000 timber trees have been planted as part of efforts to reforest and conserve the biodiversity hotspot of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park. The area that contains 50 percent of the island’s endemic plants is managed by the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust, with whom the Foundation partners to activate its initiatives.
Team members from Sandals and Beaches Resorts also rolled up their sleeves and, working with representatives from the Forestry Department and the Jamaican Mustard Seed community, planted nearly 200 nurse trees in the communities, with plans to plant 600 more by June.
Careful management of invasive species is also a key part of the philanthropic arm’s conservation effort.
In the Bahamas, Sandals Foundation Ambassadors and the Bahamas National Trust are set to remove invasive species and plant some 1000 trees in Lucayan National Park. Through the commitment of student volunteers, the islands will continue their rich tradition of promoting environmental education among their youth, fostering the next generation of environmental stewards.
“We educate students and communities throughout the region on the importance of eliminating invasive species when we enter the spaces they occupy and plant native species”, “We have supplemented these eliminations with reforestation activities that include planting food trees, such as what we continue to support at Signal Hill in Antigua,” Lumley said.
The construction of a shade house in the Wallings nature reserve, on the territory of the twin island, will also contribute to the conservation efforts of the charity branch, which began in this area last year with the planting of 1,008 trees feeders.
The Sandals Foundation has extensive experience in environmental conservation. Over the past 13 years, the organization has planted more than 17,000 fruit and ornamental trees across the Caribbean, galvanizing support from Sandals and Beaches Resorts team members, community groups, partners, travel agents, guests, students and volunteers.
This year, the entity remains committed to increasing forest cover, protecting wildlife, improving biodiversity, creating eco-tours, educating children and empowering communities to participate in conservation.
Those wishing to support tree planting efforts can visit the Sandals Foundation website at www.sandalsfoundation.org and donate to the Caribbean Tree Planting Project. One hundred percent of all donated funds will be directed towards the purchase of seedlings and the maintenance of planting sites to ensure the survival of the trees.
Press Release: Sandals Foundation