The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has pledged to provide 10 million seedlings in a tree-planting program launched on Thursday by Bantay Kalikasan Foundation to improve the country’s forest cover and help address climate change.
The Puno ng Buhay program aims to create model forest communities with agricultural livelihood in five initial sites: Antipolo near the Marikina watershed, Mindoro, Samar, Leyte and North Cotabato, said Gina Lopez, chair of the ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc.
“From one estero I had in (the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission), now we’re doing 17. So we do these five areas with reforestation, cash crops and maybe tourism [and] let’s see what will happen,” Lopez said during the signing of agreements with partner organizations.
The Department of Agriculture will provide cash crops, technical know-how and marketing for the produce while the Armed Forces of the Philippines will provide manpower, logistics and nurseries for the seedlings.
Six million seedlings from the DENR will be allotted to Mindoro where reforestation efforts by the local government have been hurt by forest fires. The remaining four million seedlings will be distributed to the other four sites.With Veronica Roque