A research project, currently being executed by Ms Nadia Hunte, a member of the Sacred Heart Church and Masters student in Forest Biology, University of Guyana, has captured the attention of the Church’s environmental group. This group, referred to as the Laudato Si Sacred Heart Group, was formed to give effect to the call issued in 2015 by Pope Francis for each and every person on the planet to play his or her part in saving the Earth from environmental degradation. The Pope’s call is well documented in his Encyclical entitled: Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home. The Group has agreed to lend support to the project by garnering youth volunteers from within the Sacred Heart Church to provide much-needed assistance to Ms Hunte in the areas of site visits, data collection and field surveys.
The project is designed to raise awareness of the value of maintaining a balance between infrastructural development and biodiversity, and will place emphasis on the need for reforestation, and the significant contribution to be gained from the preservation, maintenance and planting of trees.
The researcher seeks to address the ‘Spatial patterns of urban tree cover and diversity in Georgetown, Guyana’ and therefore needs to collect the following data:-
- diameter (dbh) size and crown radii measurements of trees,
- quantity of water available to trees,
- ground cover variables.
She also needs to carry out a socioeconomic survey that ascertains residents’ preference of tree types.
The project is expected to assist policy-makers in their selection of tree types and areas for current tree planting programmes; creating awareness of the importance of trees to community members; promoting biodiversity; retaining the unique cultural heritage of Georgetown; and improving human health through the ecosystem services provided by trees.
Members of the public are humbly requested to give their cooperation and consent to this project by providing information and/or access to their premises to collect the necessary biological data. The information collected will be handled with strict confidence and in a professional manner, and the findings will eventually be published in the local newspaper.
The collaborators wish to express thanks to the general public in anticipation of its support for the project, and consequently for the development of a Green Economy.
Nadia Hunte, Research Student
MSc Forest Biology Coordinator
Mrs Ranjana Williams
Laudato Si Sacred Heart Group
Dr Gyanpriya Maraj
Co-ordinator MSc Forest Biology Programme