PENRO calls for volunteers in tree-growing activities in Pangasinan

TREE PLANTING. Government workers join the tree planting activity of the provincial government of Pangasinan under the Green Canopy Project in this undated photo. From Feb.1, 2023 to April 19, 2024, about 180,558 tree seedlings have been planted all over the province because of the tree-planting project.
TREE PLANTING. Government workers join the tree planting activity of the provincial government of Pangasinan under the Green Canopy Project in this undated photo. From Feb.1, 2023 to April 19, 2024, about 180,558 tree seedlings have been planted all over the province because of the tree-planting project. Photo courtesy of provincial government of Pangasinan via PNA

MALASIQUI, Pangasinan – Pangasinan’s Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) is encouraging more volunteers to help in tree planting activities in a bid to help address the rising temperature and ensure the protection of forests.

“Sa ngayon nari-realize nila (ang kahalagahan ng puno) pero pag malamig na, wala na ulit. Pansamantala lang (ang) ulan at lamig. Eventually, babalik yung init na nararanasan (natin) kaya sana magtulungan (tayo) para magtanim ng puno (For now, they are realizing (the need for trees) but if the temperature cools down, they will forget about it. The rain and cooler weather is temporary. Eventually, we will again experience the heat that’s why, we need to help one another in planting trees),” PENRO forester Raymond Rivera said in an interview on Thursday.

Rivera said forest lands in Pangasinan account for about 25 percent of the province’s total area or around 129,000 hectares, including the protected areas in Mangatarem town and Alaminos City or the Hundred Islands National Park.

Majority of the forest lands are in the towns of Aguilar, Labrador, Mangatarem, Infanta, San Nicolas, San Quintin, and San Manuel, which are mostly in the central and western parts of the province.

“We have forest lands which were razed by fires recently so we are urging the people to help in replanting in these areas this coming rainy season,” Rivera said in Filipino.

Rivera said Penro is closely coordinating with the local government units (LGUs) and the private sector for tree planting activities and monitoring of the areas included in these activities to ensure their protection and sustainability.

He said seedlings of locally available or endemic trees are being planted during these activities to ensure that these are suitable in the chosen areas.

“This is to ensure that we will have source of good wood as well as to conserve and protect biodiversity,” he said in Filipino.

The Penro and its counterparts in the localities are also propagating seedlings, which they distribute upon request.

Rivera said for this year, the Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices in Dagupan City and Alaminos City were given 400 hectares target to plant and grow trees for the National Greening Program (NGP) while the others officers have been tasked to maintain and protect the previously planted areas.

He said although the mandate to monitor forest fires was already turned over to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), PENRO is closely coordinating with the villages, especially the people’s organizations living around the forest lands because they are the front-liners in terms of the conservation and protection of resources.

“We are into multi-sectoral approach when it comes to forest fires,” he added.

Rivera said they are also encouraging tree planting and growing in urban areas and schools.

He said they also welcome similar programs such as the provincial government’s Green Canopy Project that aims to plant one million trees and mangroves in denuded mountains and arid lands in three years.

Under the project, some 180,558 tree seedlings have been planted all over the province from Feb.1, 2023 to April 29, 2024.

The project is a multi-sectoral approach to promote co-ownership in protecting and caring for the environment, raise community awareness, and education in planting and saving trees, mobilize stakeholders, and solicit community participation. (PNA)

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