Over the weekend, the Cuban government and grassroots organizations undertook an initiative to "green" the city of Havana by planting trees that will replace aging trees affected by extreme weather events.
Cubans are replacing over 1,000 trees that were affected by the strong winds and rains that hit their country during the passage of Hurricane Ian. The city's nurseries are even ready to replace some 240,000 aging trees.
Environmentalist Marlon Suarez is planting new trees across the Arroyo Naranjo district on the outskirts of capital city Havana. The 24-year-old has joined a program aimed at planting thousands of trees across the city in the coming years.
"Trees are fundamental to living in harmony with nature. We are determined to make Havana a greener and cooler place," he said.
The US blockade hindered Cuba’s ability to address the pandemic, despite developing its own highly effective vaccines and made it difficult for Cuba to respond to the devastation from hurricane Ian.— BreakThrough News (@BTnewsroom) October 6, 2022
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Elsewhere in the city, university student Leidys Cruz was reading a book in the shade at Havana's Metropolitan Park. "I live within a 15-minute walk of this beautiful green space. I come here to relax and breathe fresh air twice a week. This is important for my health," she pointed out.
According to Cuba's Forest State Service, 1.7 million more trees need to be planted in the country's most populous city, which is home to nearly 2.2 million inhabitants. Currently, there are some 240,640 aging trees in Havana's parks, avenues, and green spaces.
"Trees purify the air, help maintain biodiversity in urban ecosystems, and contribute to combating climate change effects," Alexander Motolongo, director of the Havana Agroforestry Company, said, adding that there are 3,500 hectares of protected forest on the city's periphery.