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Word Count: 589
Centuries prior to the ruling of the Castro government in the 16th century precisely 90 percent of Cuba was covered with forests Agriculture Ministry officials in Cuba revealed that the Castro government in the last for decades had sown 124 million acres of trees of which were mainly derived from the mountainous zones of the Sierra Maestra Escambray and Sierra de los Organos This reduced Cubas forest cover to 53 percent and by 1960 it was down by 135 percent Ultimately mining farming sugar planting supplying timber and setting up cattle ranches demolished Cubas forests over the centuries Deforestation in any case is both detrimental to the environment and to the economy of Cuba Forest products are extremely important to the economical well-being of Cuba because they play a primary role in the production of tobacco sugar and citrus fruits a few of the islands main exports as well as in construction and electrical and telephone services Above all forests play a crucial role in the protection and conservation of Cubas natural resources and their contribution to improving the environment as a whole In Cuba there are approximately 40000 persons who are employed in the forest sector which includes 1200 professionals 2000 technicians and 70 researchers to name a few Since forests are a source of long-term employment particularly in rural communities many people who work in the forest sector who rely on forests as their main source of income find themselves facing the possibility of unemployment with the onset of deforestation Currently several initiatives are being undertaken to improve the issue of deforestation Current initiatives include a joint initiative of the Cuban and Canadian governments as part of their cooperation program called the Institutional Strengthening of the Cuban Forest Service Project The organizations involved in the implementation of this project are the Canadian Executing Agency CEA and the National Department of Forests Direccion Nacional Forestal - DNF The long-term purpose of this project is
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