Cuba Boosts Reforestation Program to Meet Economic Needs
Cuba is boosting a national reforestation program which focuses on the planting of tree species that contribute to the country’s economic development, said the director of the State Forestry Service Isabel Russo.
The program aims at developing plantations in lower mountainous levels and in plains with species such as pine, acacia and mahogany trees, among others, said the specialist, who noted that the forestry strategy will cover approximately 250 thousand hectares of land with trees though the year 2030.
The effort aims at securing a limber source for prioritized construction works and at the same time preserving mountainous eco-systems, said the expert.
The director of the State Forestry Service in the central province of Villa Clara, Rigoberto Moya, said that seedbeds in the territory are producing the necessary seedlings for the plan with the appropriate quality as certified by local experts.Moya referred to the cultivation and development of cedar, a precious wood practically extinct on the island, which is crucial for the cigar industry, particularly in the manufacturing of humidors and boxes.
Cuban forests currently cover 27.27 percent of the country’s surface, while the ongoing program expects to plant 57 thousand hectares of land annually to increase forest coverage to 29.3 percent by 2015.Before the Revolutionary triumph in 1959, the forest coverage only reached 14 percent.
Wood production in Cuba is totally dedicated to internal use, though it does not meet the domestic demand. The activity is carried out in tune with legislation preventing deliberate felling of trees and the illegal trade of wood.