Isla de la Juventud with a high percentage of forest cover – Juventud Rebelde

New Girona. — When 10 million hectares of forest are lost annually on the planet, the Isle of Youth arrives yesterday, Saturday, on the International Day of Tropical Forests, with 64 percent (%) of forest cover, one of the highest percentages in Cuba, ACN reported.

The celebration was declared in 1999 by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), World Conservation (WWF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and will be developed in 2024 under the theme “Year of Action”.

Humberto Rojas Lopez, President of the Cuban Association of Agricultural and Forestry Technicians (ACTAF), expressed that in the island region, the landscape is dominated by wood, honey, fruit and energy species, and among the latter is the pine, the symbolic tree of the Republic of Cuba. It stands out with a 40% presence on pine soil.

He stressed that about 184 thousand hectares contain species of great commercial value such as mahogany, ebony and cedar, among a wide range of trees, which constitute a home for animals with a high degree of endemism.

He pointed out that many protection works are being carried out in various forest areas, with the aim of stopping soil erosion, repopulating forests with local plants, and eliminating as much as possible invasive plants that harm the preservation of these ecosystems.

He added that within the framework of environmental education, measures have been designed that include children and youth in order to reinforce the necessity of caring for and preserving these places.

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Although logging is carefully regulated under current laws, hurricanes and, above all, forest fires, often caused by people’s irresponsibility, remain the main destroyers of tens of hectares of forest cover, Rojas Lopez said.

He noted that the main forest areas are located in the south and west of the municipality, including the La Cañada Managed Resource Protected Area, the Los Indios Ecological Reserve, the Punta Frances National Park and the Sur de Nanegado Protected Resource Area. The Island of Youth, a Ramsar site, stands out and is the largest of all.

Entities such as the Forest Ranger Corps, the State Forest Service, the Regional Delegation of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment and ACTAF carry out sustainable environmental education work in order to raise awareness among the population about the benefits that forests bring to society, economy, environment and life preservation.

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