27 April 2019, Siniloan, Laguna. Thanks to the 15 Students and Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE) who showed up 630AM at the Laguna-Quezon Land Grant (LQLG) site in Siniloan, Laguna on 27 April 2019, FEED, sponsors, partners and SAVE volunteers were able to add another 650 native Philippine trees to help restore one of the last remaining old growth forests of the country*.
14 of the 15 SAVE participants were from FEED’s partner Hawak Kamay, while one volunteer contacted FEED independently (Kenneth Ngo) to plant 5 seedlings per person for a total of 75. FEED accepted Hawak Kamay’s collaborative offer earlier this year due to the organization’s enthusiastic eco-aware youth and community leaders expressing their sincere desire to contribute to restoring Philippine biodiversity one step and volunteer at a time, in order to extend its reach to the inspired pioneers who set up this initiative.
An additional 40 trees were planted by a sponsorship from APEC School Eco-Warriors (represented by their students Jewel Ann Lolong and Michelle Delos Santos), planted by the Hawak Kamay and Forest Guard teams – thank you!
Thanks also to the TIDES Foundation, one of FEED’s recent partners, who sponsored the restoration of 500 indigenous Philippine forest trees to these parts of the Sierra Madre mountain range; a partial scholarship contribution; and upgrading of facilities for the local community of forest guards responsible for maintaining FEED’s first and oldest Living Legacy partner, the LQLG site.
650 PH Forest Tree Species Planted
Our steadfast LQLG forest guards added their very own 35 seedling contribution to complete the figure at 650 resforested Philippine endemic and indigenous forest trees planted:
- Malaruhat – 50
- Lipote – 50
- White lauan – 50
- Kamagong – 50
- Kupang – 50
- Bani – 400
THANK YOU ECO-WARRIORS for your ENTHUSIASM & DEDICATION!
Although Tides and APEC Schools did not send any volunteer representation, the Hawak Kamay team were super thrilled to be invited by FEED to plant on their behalf – and at the chance to plant more than their each SAVE-allocated 5 seedlings.
Together with our Forest Guards, we were able to complete the planting of 615 forest trees within one hours – so THANK YOU to Tides, APEC Schools and Hawak Kamay SAVE Eco-Warriors!
|1||Nala Uy||9||Ken Chua|
|2||Faith Solis||10||Aileen Ching Chua|
|3||Maxine Cochangco||11||Kaithlyin Chua|
|4||Natassja Reyne Lao||12||Kyle Chua|
|5||Sophia Vergel de Dios||13||Kailey Chua|
|6||Jaye Brianna Yap||14||Aidan Chua|
|7||Nik Salud||15||Kenneth Ngo (SAVE)|
Thank you again and May the Forest Be with you always!
Related Article: FEED Partners with Hawak Kamay
GPS Coordinates – Track Your Tree
Use any GPS (Global Positioning System) software / application to input the latitude and longitude coordinates to be able to remotely see the location of your trees planted. Some examples include:
About APEC Schools
APEC Schools operates a chain of private high schools offering Grades 7 through 12, following the Philippines Department of Education’s K-12 curriculum. Its progressive teaching methods encourage active and collaborative learning, teaching students to master English and speak it confidently, also within a tech-immersive environment that helps prepare them for the modern world.
More here: https://www.apecschools.edu.ph/
Tides is a philanthropic partner and nonprofit accelerator dedicated to building a world of shared prosperity and social justice.
More here: https://www.tides.org/
About Hawak Kamay
Our vision – An active and thriving community of socially-responsible Filipino youth.
Our mission – To provide individuals with a diverse selection of volunteer opportunities all over Luzon, so that each one of us can play a part in giving back to our country – whenever, wherever, and however we can.
More here: https://www.hawakkamay.org
Debrief: Status of (Philippine) Forests
“Forests are vital to life on earth. They are the richest of all ecosystems – covering only 8% of the planet and are home to two thirds of all known species of terrestrial plants and animals. Millions of people rely directly on forests for food, water, medicines and other basic materials. For these forest peoples the forest defines their culture and way of life. Within developing countries, one billion of the world’s poorest people depend upon forests for part of their livelihoods, and as many as 350 million people living in and around forests are heavily dependent on forests for their livelihoods and security.” -Greenpeace
The Philippines is one of the most severely deforested countries in the tropics and most deforestation has happened in the last 40 years. Estimates place forest cover in the Philippines in the year 1900 at 21 million hectares, covering 70 % of the total land area…
24.0% —or about 7,162,000 hectares—of Philippines is forested. Of this, 11.6% —or roughly 829,000 hectares—is classified as primary forest, the most biodiverse form of forest.
Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2000, Philippines lost an average of 262,500 hectares of forest per year. The amounts to an average annual deforestation rate of 2.48%. Between 2000 and 2005, the rate of forest change decreased by 20.2% to 1.98% per annum. In total, between 1990 and 2005, Philippines lost 32.3% of its forest cover, or around 3,412,000 hectares. Measuring the total rate of habitat conversion (defined as change in forest area plus change in woodland area minus net plantation expansion) for the 1990-2005 interval, Philippines lost 7.9% of its forest and woodland habitat.
Biodiversity and Protected Areas: Philippines has some 1196 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 45.8% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 14.7% are threatened. Philippines is home to at least 8931 species of vascular plants, of which 39.2% are endemic. 5.1% of Philippines is protected under IUCN categories I-V.
Sierra Madre: Under Threat – A close look at illegal logging in one of the Philippines’ last remaining old growth forests*
By Greenpeace Southeast Asia, April 2006
Though published back in April 2006, much of the fact based findings in this report still prove relevant today.
“In 1992,the Philippine Government proclaimed 287,861 hectares of land area and 76,625 hectares of coastline water area of the Northern Sierra Madre Mountain Range (“Sierra Madre”) as part of a national integrated protected area system. Through the enactment of Republic Act 9125, the Sierra Madre was declared a natural park to further enhance its protected areas status.
Republic Act 9125 also provided the Sierra Madre an extra layer of protection (called the “buffer zones” covering adjacent areas one (1) kilometer wide from the boundaries of the Sierra Madre) to which restrictions and sustainable resource management strategies involving local communities and the private sector are similarly applied in order to repel threats to the protected area.
The law further declares that all primary (old growth) forests within the Sierra Madre including portions which have been previously declared as alienable and disposable, shall be classified as strict protection zones and shall be free from all forms of logging or exploitation, commercial or otherwise; except portions of primary forests which may be classified as sustainable use zones. Under the law, “sustainable use” is defined as— “the use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the decline of the species used and not causing permanent or long-term diminishment or qualitative degradation of biological species, ecological functions or of other resources extracted or disturbed, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of the present and future Filipino generations”.
The law also enumerates the illegal acts within the Sierra Madre and the buffer zones. The illegal acts relating specifically to forest protection are:
- (i) Cutting, gathering, collecting or removal of timber or other forest products without prior permit from the Protected Area Management Board (“PAMB”); provided that any permit issued shall be valid for only one (1) year at a time and given only to – (a) tenured migrants in the Sierra Madre within sustainable, monitored and controlled quotas, and (b) for scientific purposes necessary for protected area management;
- (ii) Possession or use of chainsaws and band saws without prior permit from the PAMB; provided that permits may only be issued for multiple use and buffer zones; and
- (iii) Engaging in kaingin (slash and burn farming) or in any manner causing a forest fire inside the Sierra Madre or its buffer zones.
Despite the proclamation of the Sierra Madre as a protected area, there have been persistent reports or information that illegal logging activities continue to be conducted within the area….
It can be inferred that the wood furniture industry contributes to the continuing illegal logging in the Sierra Madre. Even so, the government will surely hesitate deprioritizing the wood industry sector due to economic importance. This is understandable, however, it will help to bear in mind that the country’s state of deforestation and loss of biodiversity have reached crisis proportions and for that matter hard choices have to be made. Ecological disasters, like landslides killing thousands at a time, and the growing threat to water quality and supply attributable to deforestation are harsh realities that can no longer be ignored. Indeed, for the Philippines, saving what is left of its forest cover has become a matter of survival.”
FEED runs a number of Students and Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE); Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – such as mangrove planting for coastal protection or ridge reforestation plantings; One Child, One Tree; Bio-Intensive Gardens (BIG) for nutrition in public elementary schools and other spaces; Climate Change Survival 101 and other LIVING LEGACY programs – customised environmental engagement activities for individuals and organisations interested in contributing to climate change adaptation efforts and greening critical areas such as watersheds, ridges, and reefs that all require rehabilitation.
Tree-Planting with FEED: Video
Check out the video journey by Clueless Commuter who planted with us last February 26th, 2018 to get a good idea of how FEED plantings go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPC29Rwr6Pg
© Fostering Education & Environment for Development, Inc.