Minister for Environment, Climate Resilience, Disaster Management and Urban Renewal, Joseph Isaac has said his ministry has embarked on an ongoing process, a program for reforestation to have one million trees planted by the end of 2019.
The minister was addressing hundreds of diasporans during the 2018 Diaspora Forum held at the Goodwill Parish Hall on Thursday.
His brief presentation focused on two major areas of development, the environment and urban renewal.
“We will be doing an ongoing process, a program for reforestation, the aim there is to have a million trees planted by the end of 2019,” he revealed.
According to Isaac, in the area of urban renewal, the Prime Minister’s Budget Address of this financial year, he underlined the necessity for developing Roseau City and positioned it as the first Climate Resilience Smart City in the region.
“Rather than get disheartened by Hurricane Maria we have become more emboldened as we seek to modernize and fortify Roseau City,” Isaac stated.
He indicated that the transformation of Roseau City to a modern Climate Resilient Smart City will involve the completion of River walls on both the northern and southern side of the Roseau River, starting from the sea and moving right up to UWI [University of the West Indies, Elmshall Road].
“This will significantly lessen the likelihood of flooding and protect our capital city from rising river levels caused by rain.”
With regard to the many bridges Isaac said rehabilitation of all the bridges spanning Roseau River is presently ongoing.
“The intention here is to ensure that all bridges are climate resilient as the new West Bridge,” he noted.
To alleviate the problem of traffic congestion, he said this administration has in its possession a final design for the construction of a major bypass through the Botanical Gardens.
“This bypass road will pass through the back of Botanical Gardens and will link to the Elmshall road, close to UWI and work will soon commence on this initiative.”
Isaac further revealed that regarding parking, plans are being developed for the construction of a three-tier level parking facility.
“We have had discussions with a son of the soil, an industrial engineer who have proposed and suggested that we should use vertical parking systems in small lots in Roseau City,” he revealed.
Meantime, he said a committee has already been formed and is working on a comprehensive rehabilitation modernization of the Botanical Gardens into an urban park.
“The vision here is to establish the Botanical Gardens as a focal center-piece and a demonstration of Dominica’s ecological forest to the world,” he remarked. “This new development of the gardens will include, but not limited to rose gardens, fruit orchards, a reception centre to take advantage to the new trend in tourism, a modern restaurant, water features and a mini golf course for all of us to enjoy.”
The meeting was held under the theme: “My Love, My Home, Building a Resilient Nation.”