By the Caribbean Journal staff
It’s about new life in the face of adversity, reconstruction in the face of destruction.
It’s about turning a hurricane into a new opportunity for growth.
And the newest initiative by the British Virgin Islands is focused on just that — new growth.
It’s called Seeds of Love, and it’s a new program that aims to replant the islands’ indigenous trees and vegetation destroyed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year.
The plan began when Gabi Romberg of the BVI’s German agency, who saw the damage to fauna from the hurricanes and started a fundraising drive to purchase coconut palms to be replanted on the beaches of the territory.
Then, the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines donated 3,000 fruit trees to the BVI, and soon the Seeds of Love campaign was born, spearheaded by Director of Tourism Sharon Flax-Brutus.
The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board has also purchased 3,000 coconut seedlings and saplings in an effort to replant and maintain what was lost during the storms.
“We are sincerely thankful for their seeds of love as this is not only a valuable contribution to our environment, but to our very existence,” Flax-Brutus said. “I am excited that this project is taking shape, and I am pleased to announce that we have received our first shipment. Our intention is to distribute this shipment throughout the four main islands.”
Seeds of Love has already expanded throughout the territory, as the Tourist Board has partnered with other local government agencies and ministries to allow for the distribution of planting in public spaces.
The entire community will be involved through special planting days, with special celebrations centered around global arbor days.
“Tourism is the mainstay of our economy, there is no tourism without the environment. Whither the environment goes, so goes the economy,” said Kedrick Pickering, Minister of Natural Resources and Labour. It is extremely important for us to invest in, protect and prosper our natural heritage. Reforestation is a necessary component of building resilience.”
For more information and for ways to get involved, visit Seeds of Love.