Dominica says it can boast of having the highest forest cover in the Caribbean

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Matthew Joseph Walter, Minister for Agriculture and Forestry of Dominica

Dominica can boast of having the highest percentage of forest cover in the Caribbean region, with about 66 per cent of its total land area under forests.

Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Joseph-Walter told the UN Forum on Forests in Istanbul, Turkey that the Government has over the years developed far-reaching legislation, such as the Forestry and Wildlife Act and the National Parks and Protected Area Act, which have ensured the maintenance of two protected Forest Reserves and three National Parks, one of those, the Morne Trois Pitons National Park which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

“For us the necessity of conserving forests and natural environment was never in question, since these assets constitute the basis of our economic existence. It is by no accident therefore, that the country has been designated as the "Nature Island of the Caribbean". It promotes a programme of eco-tourism that encourages visitation to places of natural and cultural, archeological significance on the Island. The island also promotes the sustainable utilization of raw materials used in the creation of indigenous act. It also has a legally- arranged wildlife management system that regulates hunting through a closed and an open season for the taking of a number of game species which assists in offsetting the income for the rural folks. Dominica's tourism is heavily reliant on our existing forest resources and associated natural systems.”

Minister Joseph Walter pointed to Dominica's mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, sulphur springs, bird-life, river-bathing and mountain climbing as some of the many attributes of the country's tourism product.

The UN Forum on Forests session would aim to spur global action to reduce deforestation; improve the livelihoods and economies of people who derived their livelihoods and sustenance from forests; increase the number of forests under protection; and increase aid to developing countries to improve forest management.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 2’17″

Filed under Caribbean News.
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