A Personal Account by Student & Volunteer for the Environment (SAVE) participant, Matt Tolentino
15 June 2019, Siniloan, Laguna. Dr. Thomas Fuller once said that “He that plants trees loves others beside himself. ”.
“In this fast-paced day and age, when one lacks the time to do things for himself or herself, there are even fewer opportunities to reach out to other people.
One day, I was thinking about convenient ways to give back to the community. To do something impactful that is not too time-consuming.
A piece of bread can feed a person. Then it’s gone. A pizza can feed a family. Then it’s gone. But plant a single seed, let it grow, and it becomes a blessing to thousands for a very long time.
Investing in a tree is risk-free and the long-term rewards are enormous – not just for me but for everyone.
Right then and there, I realized that now’s my best chance to make a positive change and share my love…by planting!
I attached photos of me and my girlfriend visiting Cong Dadong Dam, Rainforest Adventure Experience (Pasig) and Manila Ocean Park.
Kindly name the other trees as Mary Ann Tolentino (my mom) and Lhen Mungcal De Guzman (my girlfriend).
Thank you! 😊”
It is Eco-Warriors like Matt that enable FEED to keep greening the Philippines and Earth for a better world for all. Kudos to you Matt, family and friends!
We planted your 5 native Philippine forest trees honouring your mother Mary Ann Tolentino and your girlfriend Lhen Mungcal De Guzman during the latest planting on Saturday 15 June 2019 with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partners Concepcion Business Services, Inc. – along with their 41 participants who planted 360 trees.
May the Forest always be with you all!
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.