44th Earth Day Tree Planting

FOREST SEEDLINGS. Mindanao Development Authority staff along with community volunteer Elmer Valdez (2nd from left) participate in a tree growing activity that planted more than 2,000 seedlings of forest tree species at a designated mini-watershed in Sitio Upper Kibalang in Marilog Disrtrict, Davao City. The event was organized in partnership with the Davao City Environment and Natural Resources Office and other government agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways and professional organizations like the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers.


DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Over 2,000 seedlings of hardwood trees will soon become forest foliage in this city's upland area, as a multi-sector group conducted a tree planting activity last month in support to the National Greening Program (NGP).

The City Government of Davao, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), and several other organizations led the planting of Narra, Molave, and Big-leaf Mahogany seedlings at a designated mini-watershed located in Sitio Upper Kibalang in Marilog Disrtrict.

"We cannot be here forever. In fact, I am about to retire. By training members of the local community on how to take care of the environment, we hope that the knowledge will be kept and propagated among the people of this barangay," said Martin Obrero, supervising environmental specialist of the City Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO).

He added that the seedlings planted in the mini-watershed would be taken care of by volunteers from the local community for a minimum period of three years to ensure their survival and maturity into full-grown trees.

The tree growing activity, which coincided with the city's celebration of the 44th Earth Day was also supported by volunteers from the local community, various offices of the city government, other national government agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and professional organizations like the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE).

"We need similar collaborations that aim to rehabilitate our denuded forests and support us in our goal of protecting Mindanao's environment while contributing to the targets of the NGP," said MinDA Chairperson Luwalhati Antonino.

NGP is a flagship project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that aims to plant 1.5 billion trees covering 1.5 million hectares for a period of six years from 2011 to 2016. Apart from being a reforestation initiative, the program is also a climate change mitigation strategy that aims to increase the country's forest cover to raise its capacity to absorb carbon dioxide, which is largely blamed for global warming.

Antonino added that through the MindaNOW! Nurturing Our Waters Program, MinDA is working with DENR and the Department of Interior and Local Government in the full implementation of the Mindanao Barangay StraTREEgic Forest Project (BSFP) through the Barangay Forest Program (BFP), a component of the NGP.

The BSFP is a tripartite partnership that seeks to facilitate the implementation and attainment of the objectives of the NGP in Mindanao. A launch of the project will be held on May 21 in Cagayan de Oro City.

"We initially target 200 barangays in Mindanao as part of this campaign, and we hope to engage them in massive reforestation activities aimed to generate at least two million seedlings of forest trees to be planted among typhoon-prone and perennially flooded areas in the island-region," said Antonino.

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