14 April 2019, Laguna Quezon Land Grant, Siniloan, Laguna. 18 Students and Volunteers for the Environment joined us at the Laguna Quezon Land Grant, a 9,000 hectare plus protected forestry area in Siniloan, Laguna last 14th of April 2019, to plant 100 native Philippine forest trees.
One of the students asked: “Why do you need us volunteers, when you have the forest guards?!” – A valid question that deserves an equally honest answer.
“The role of the Forest Guards”, explained Forester Reynaldo E. Lorida – who manages part of the 9,000 hectares – “is to secure all the biodiversity that is already here, as well as those which we plant. Imagine 25 forest guardians patrolling the entire protected forest every day on shirts; it takes at least one week to complete the full property check by the majority of the Forest Guardians, while others are left at base camp conducting nursery work and maintenance. As you can imagine, that does not leave much time for planting. That’s why we need more of you (public at large)!”
Following the brief introduction to FEED and its oldest and first LIVING LEGACY partner the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) – who is charged with managing the Laguna Quezon Land Grant on behalf of the government, Forester Rey Lorida shared about the Status of Philippine Forests and the role the forest plays in the protection of our freshwater supply as well as a natural barrier again storms, food production and a source of livelihood to many upland and lowland communities.
The Ateneo Consumer Law Protection students proceeded to trek to their planting site (GPS coordinates noted below) to then receive a technical demonstration on how to debag the pre-spaced and dug standardised holes with native Philippine forest trees that mimic the existing forest. The planting of 100 trees took about 35 minutes and was only permitted during the month of April due to continuous afternoon rains, which helps keep maintenance costs at their minimum.
On the trek back to base camp, we passed by the organic vegetable farm made by the Forest Guards as a source of their own sustenance as well as a seeds and seedling source fo their neighbouring puroks / villages and upland community neighbours, showcasing the robust native chillies (labuyo and other species), okra, ampalaya, gingers and a range of root crops promoting high nutrition value and climate resistance (agains heavy rains and dry spells).
The group also passed through the various nurseries on the trek back to base camp, where some thousands of seedlings of Philippine forest species – including those vulnerable/threatened and critically endangered are housed, such as Almaciga (Agathis philippinensis Almaciga), Apitong (Dipterocarpus grandiflorus), red lauan (Shorea negrosensis) and white lauan (Parashorea malaanonan and Shorea contorta).
While freshening up at the Training Center, at about 1030 AM the local community of women nursery managers were completing the preparation of our native Philippine brunch of sweet and sour chicken stew, fish source from Infanta and rice; their involvement is also heavily focused on enhancing our existing nurseries, to be able to sell seedlings to planters who can bring seedlings back home to plant in urban areas. The meals preparation and nursery work are part of there alternative social forestry initiatives established by UPLB to ensure constant livelihood to the local community year round, even during dry season when no plantings take place.
The brunch by the lake was a time to cool off and reflect on lessons learned, and how we can all make a difference by planting whenever we can.
Thank you Ateneo ECO-WARRIORS for being active youth leaders for education and environment – GO GREEN!
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:
The Ateneo Law School is a Filipino, Catholic, and Jesuit institution within the larger Ateneo de Manila University.
As a Filipino law school, we form lawyers who will identify and enrich Philippine culture and contribute to nation building through service of country and the global community.
As a Catholic law school, we inspire our students, following the teachings and examples of Christ, to devote their lives to the service of others, especially the poor and powerless, through the promotion of justice.
As a Jesuit law school, we seek the goals of a Jesuit liberal education through the harmonious development of moral and intellectual virtues. Imbued with the Ignatian spirit, we lead our students to see God in all things and to strive for the greater glory of God and the greater service of others.
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 24th of June 2017 to get a good idea of how FEED plantings go: https://youtu.be/KROn4rjVqBg
© Fostering Education & Environment for Development, Inc.