The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is calling for persons to desist from the unsustainable harvesting of Pimento plants and the Bitterwood tree.
Three species that are endemic to Jamaica – the Pimenta obscura, Pimenta jamaicensis and Pimenta richardii – can be found in select parts of the country, while the native plant, Pimenta dioica, can be found in all parishes.
Unsustainable harvesting practices have led to rampant deforestation of these trees, as the demand for pimento by-products is vast and unregulated,” Public Relations and Corporate Communications Manager at NEPA, Ollyvia Anderson, explains to JIS News.
“Due to such high demand, all the endemic species are now considered threatened species, and the native Pimenta dioica has been reported to have reduced abundantly of late, thus the need to raise awareness about the value of these plants and ecosystems,” she adds.
Overexploitation, unsustainable harvesting and poor management practices have led to decreased population size in Bitterwood trees,” Anderson points out.