THE Archdiocese of Cebu has vowed to plant half a million trees as part of its commitment to preserve the environment starting this year.
The planting and growing of new trees is part of the commitment signed yesterday by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, Archdiocesan Commission on Environmental Concerns (CACEC) and Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE).
With the agreement, CACEC and FPE will initiate the Cebu Archdiocesan tree-growing initiative, which aims to plant at least 500,000 trees by 2021 as a way to promote biodiversity conservation and improve terrestrial habitats.
The partnership ceremony also served as a commitment signing for nine Catholic schools and groups, who collectively agreed to plant at least 110,000 trees. Those who committed to plant trees were the University of San Jose-Recoletos, University of San Carlos, Colegio Dela Inmaculada Conception, Sacred Heart School-Hijas de Jesus, Academia de San Pedro Calungsod, Association of Women Religious of Cebu, Religious of the Virgin Mary, Seaknights Inc., and the Apostleship of the Sea.
Fr. Murphy Sarsonas, CACEC chairman, said that with the commitment of the nine groups the balance will be distributed to the parishes under the Archdiocese of Cebu for their tree-planting activities.
The Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc (Rafi) assured to provide the seedlings, said Sarsonas.
But their engagement will not only be focused on the planting of trees.
Sarsonas said their partnership with FPE will include the establishment of local environmental protection mechanisms through the creation of the committee on environmental concern (CEC) per parish.
FPE has also vowed to provide technical assistance to CACEC on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. (JKV)