Fruit-bearing trees in re-greening initiative

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Thursday, August 7, 2014


THE government's greening initiative MindaNOW will focus on planting fruit-bearing tree in a bid to revitalize the forest as part of its "Mindanao wide Treevolution: Greening MindaNow" slated on September 26, 2014.

The tree planting initative is co-organized by the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Under this program, Mindanao is eyeing to set a new world record by mobilizing 185,440 individuals to plant 4.636 million trees, covering around 9,200 hectares, distributed in 228 locations, all in an hour.

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MinDA executive director Usec. Janet M. Lopoz, speaking in Kapehan sa Dabaw Monday, said they will be including cacao, coffee, and rubber as part of the seedlings that will be released during the island-wide event.

"At the moment, there are interests from cacao growers to plant some one million seedlings during the one hour duration," she said, adding that the one million cacao trees will be able to produce at least 1,140 metric tons.

DENR regional executive director Joselin Marcus E. Fragada added that they will also include timber species, indigenous species, and mangrove trees.

"These are the five basic species that will be planted because they are the most apt to the areas that we will be planting in," he said.

Fragada said they will be providing most of the planting materials through the National Greening Program (NGP) of the DENR.

"Treevoultion would not only mean tree planting but it would also mean climate change mitigation and adaptation, livelihood for the communtiy, and economic stability," he said.

Lopoz also said that through the program, they hope to instill a "massive consciousness" on the importance of tree growing.

The organizers also said that they hope to clinch the Guiness world record set by India with 1.94 million trees planted in 408 locations by 340,200 participants on August 15, 2011.

For this to be possible, DENR, Minda, and their partner agencies will mobilize all of their employees, people's organizations, academe, national government agencies, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, business sector, and religious groups to participate in breaking the record. MinDA will mostly head the mobilization.

Aside from achieving the record, the organizers also assured that they will maintain and sustain the trees that were planted.

Fragada said all of the 228 locations have been mapped and surveyed under the umbrella of NGP.

"We have maintenance and protection fund per year. We also utilized a lot of ways to sustain the trees that were planted," he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 08, 2014.

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