SAVE Participants Rehabilitate Philippine Forests that Help Improve the Quality of Human Life



24 June 2017, Siniloan, Laguna. On this day, FEED’s Students & Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE) planted 450 Philippine native trees in the Sierra Madre mountains. Seedlings are recommended by FEED’s Living Legacy partners the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) agro-foresters to ensure we mimic the existing forest.

The near 10,000 hectares being planted on are managed but the UPLB’s Land Grant Management Office (LGMO) with a team of about 15 full- and part-time forestry experts and security personnel.

Here’s why FEED’s once-a-month SAVE plantings continue to grow in volunteer numbers since we started this particular re-forestation program three years ago, as many are increasingly aware that:

“Sustainable forestry may not be practiced because it is more profitable to cut down all of the valuable trees quickly (mahogany, for example) than to invest in a slow-growing capital (i.e., mahogany seedlings) and wait for them to mature. There is no economic incentive to practice sustainable management, as unrestricted logging is two to five times more profitable than sustainable forestry.”


Forests Improve the Quality of Human Life

IMG_9654_result“The original forests that thrived on this earth took hundreds of years to evolve and comprised a community of species. Forests are an ecosystem, in which every species is in a symbiotic relationship with another; and their function is much more that simply growing as plants and trees. They actually build dead organic matter into soils over time. While the impact of modern development resulted in rampant depletion of a vast amount of forest cover from the planet, in this article, we discuss its reverse action –‘re-forestation’ and how close we can ever get to re-growing a forest.

The importance of forests in environment and ecology cannot be underestimated – forests improve the quality of human life by soaking up pollution and dust from the air, rebuild natural habitats and eco-systems, and hedge the impact of global warming, since forests absorb atmospheric carbon di-oxide. The current rate of deforestation is 13 billion square meters of tropical forests every year.

One the lines of prevention being better than cure, at level one, there is still potential in the deforestation-prone regions to reduce the rate of this deforestation by half by the year 2050. This in itself would be a huge contribution in stabilizing global climate. Other than that, many forests are used as harvest resource by the timber industry and as a resource for other non-timber forest produce. In this arrangement, trees are planted to replace the ones which have been cut. This allows the industry to plan it in such a way to make reforestation easier.

SIERRA MADREReforestation and Afforestation

The idea of rebuilding a forest thus gave way to terminologies such as ‘reforestation’ and ‘afforestation’, which are not the same. Reforestation refers to restoring or recreating areas of woodlands where forests once existed, which was depleted as some point. It also means a re-growth, as against an original forest cover. Afforestation, on the other hand, is to grow a forest where it had not formerly existed.

An issue often debated in managed reforestation is whether the new forest will have the same biodiversity as the original forest. Obviously, this does not happen if the new growth is a plantation or a monoculture of one type of tree. Even if experts in the forestry department try their best to mimic an original forest by re-growing the original species, it may not evolve into the original forest it had been.

While reforestation is a great deal more than just planting trees, there is no doubt that a tree-planting programme can help improve local climate. It can provide benefits such as restoration of soil, revival of local flora and fauna, and the sequestering of 38 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare per year. That adds up to about 3 billion tons of anthropogenic carbon every year – the equivalent of 30 per cent of all carbon di-oxide emissions from fossil fuels.

Also, tree planting shows better results in some climatic zones in comparison to others. In tropical climates, trees will have a quicker growth rate.”



Thank you to all SAVE participants for taking Climate Change Action!

Dr. Jennifer Noriega Gian Paulo Canlas Jerry Artagame Joana Veron Torrero
Dr. Cecilia Bondoc Jorge Faustino Miki Akasako Erlie Virgilia Mamawal
Dr. Cherry Angosta Ingrid Seva-Bulos Mark Joseph Mabuan Rosalie T. Morial
Dr. Emil Benet Verona Andrew Aladdin Alvare Domingo J. Chico Jr. Alexandra Ramoso
Zerah Mercado Amado Castro Nicely R. Rom Rezchiel Poliquit
Eden Fuster Patrick Norman Santos Maelyn N. Cribello Jelyn Candelaria
Marcelina “Ace” Itchon Mark Ringor Maryjory Ocampo Michael Paculan
Dorothy Dale Richard Andrew Angeles Giodee Albayda Nico Reginald Cajucom
Honoriza Majarreis Ron Jacob Rian Moreno Olenny B. Acebes
Elijah Thane Majarreis Yancy Cruz Sky Morales
Ferdinand Majarreis Leonard Eroles Rosa Vicenta Celestial
Carl Canotal Ma. Franchisca Conde

Particular thanks to our regular SAVE leaders Dorothy Dale & Bogs Balangat; iVolunteers Philippines, Z-Lift Solutions and the MONDO Project* and the One Shirt, One Tree environmental patrons (the latter listed below)*:

Gian Paulo Canlas Mark Ringor
Jorge Faustino Mark Ringor
Ingrid Seva-Bulos Richard Andrew Angeles
Ingrid Seva-Bulos Ron Jacob
Andrew Aladdin Alvare Yancy Cruz
Amado Castro Leonard Eroles
Patrick Norman Santos Carl Canotal

Video Blog

Check out the video journey by Clueless Commuter who planted with us and kindly captured this community event:


Complete Photo Journal



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For More Information

FEED runs a number of SAVE; Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); Mangrove Planting for coastal protection; One Child, One Tree; Bio-Intensive Gardens (BIG) in Public Elementary Schools; and other environmentally engaging activities for individuals and organizations interested in contributing to climate change adaptation efforts and greening critical areas such as watersheds, ridges, and reefs that all require rehabilitation.

Contact us at FEED for more details, to join our regular activities or to design your own: or call/text +63 (0)917 552 4722 / 30.

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