Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cuba to Plant 150 Million Trees

Havana, Apr 18 (Prensa Latina) Cuba will plant 150 million trees this year, part of the world campaign "Plant for the Planet," Cuban National Forest director Elias Linares announced on Wednesday.

This international call to save the forests of the planet has been launched by the UN Environment Program, and its objective is to plant a billion trees in the world in 2007.

Linares is a participant in the fourth Forest Congress that is in session in Havana with the participation of 16 countries from Europe, Africa and Latin America.

He explained this is Cuba s 2007 reforestation program of the Cuban Ministries of Agriculture and Sugar Industry, and the National Hydraulic Resources Institute, the Revolutionary Armed Forces and expert Cuban farmers.

The idea for the "Plant for the Planet" campaign was inspired by Kenyan Professor Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace prizewinner in 2004 and founder of Kenya s Green Belt Movement.

Havana has increased its areas populated by trees in the last 10 years, exceeding 1997 s 3,155.5 tree-covered acres to up to 4,000 acres in 2007, said Cuban expert Isabel Russo.

Russo led a conference on urban forestry in Cuba, in which she spoke about planting trees in the "Mi Programa Verde (My Green Program)" project for the capital which, this year, will plant 2.5 million trees.

Cuba aspires to have 7.9 million acres of forests by 2015, equivalent to 29.3 percent of the nation s area.

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