EVERYONE was challenged to plant five trees each to mark the 2020 International Day of Forests (IDoF) on March 21st, 2020. Mr. Tunou Sabuin, Managing Director of the National Forest Service, implementing arm of the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) made the call when accepting merchandise from the Bank of South Pacific as prizes for the 2020 IDoF Schools Poster Competition.
“Forests absorb carbon dioxide and give out oxygen which we breathe in to survive. I, therefore, urge everyone to plant five trees on the day to celebrate the IDoF and mark the importance of why we have forests and why we should look after and manage them properly,” Mr. Sabuin said.
He added: “PNGFA is committed to the tree planting program because we are custodians of PNG’s forest resources and we take full responsibility and charge of its management and conservation.
“Under the national government’s Vision 2050, PNGFA and the forest sector has been given a target of 800,000 hectares to plant by 2050. PNGFA is to work with communities, landowners, and everyone else including its development partners to plant the 800,000 ha. Between 25,000-30,000 hectares is expected to be planted every year up to the year 2050,” the managing director said.
Regarding the presentation, Mr. Sabuin said: “I thank BSP for their quick positive response to our request to assist to celebrate this important day. We shouldn’t celebrate on March 21st only but for every individual, family member, school or community to take this very seriously because trees and forests act as our lungs. Without trees, we cannot breathe in oxygen.”
He also acknowledged the presence of students from Ted Diro and Sacred Heart Primary schools who graced the occasion with a teacher each from the respective schools.
Meanwhile, Ms. Amelia Minnopu, BSP’s Corporate Sponsorship Manager/Marketing & Public Relations Retail Banking of BSP thanked PNGFA for inviting the bank to be a sponsor for the IDoF. “We are proud to come on board as a supporting sponsor. We continue to support a lot of international environmental days, this being the first with PNGFA, but certainly not the last. We will continue to build our partnership with PNGFA,” she said.
Ms. Minnopu added that she hoped to see more schools participate in this important day.
The IDoF was declared by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 21st, 2012 to be commemorated on March 21st, annually. PNG will commemorate the 7th IDoF this year while the other 192 UN states will celebrate it for the 8th time.
In Port Moresby, the PNGFA will lead the celebrations with tree planting on Thursday, March 19th, 2020, at the Kuriva forestry plantation, on the Hiritano Highway, about an hour’s drive out of Port Moresby city. On Friday, March 20th, a parade of floats will go around the city, followed by speeches at the PNGFA Headquarters at Hohola, where winners of the Schools Poster Competition and the float will be announced. March 21st this year falls on the weekend so the activities have been brought forward.