15-17 July 2021, Siniloan, Laguna, Sierra Madre Mountain Range. Rain Rain, Don’t Go Away. Keep us planting every day! PMFTC sponsored another planting of 5000 native Philippine Forest Trees at Siniloan, Laguna – the over 9,000 hectare protected forest managed by FEED’s on the ground longest Living Legacy partner, the Laguna Quezon Land Grant of the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB). The Laguna Quezon Land Grant where they planted has survived past decades of unsustainable human intervention such as illegal-logging, poaching, conversion of forest land into agriculture, and even home-building by informal, outside settlers typically funded by urban money – significantly reducing forest cover and genuine means of sustainable livelihood development from proper social forestry management, under threat to especially native forest dwellers from the area, including indigenous peoples.
The Philippines has had some world-class legislation on environmental engagement with the public at large (private citizens and organizations), but many are not known, for example:
- Presidential Decree (PD) 1153 (REQUIRING THE PLANTING OF ONE TREE EVERY MONTH FOR FIVE CONSECUTIVE YEARS BY EVERY CITIZEN OF THE PHILIPPINES) – which FEED still espouses;
- Republic Act (RA) 10176 (AN ACT REVIVING THE OBSERVANCE OF ARBOR DAY BY AUTHORIZING THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS THE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR CELEBRATING THE DAY FOR TREE PLANTING AS AN ANNUAL EVENT); and, the latest,
- The Philippines passed the “Graduation Legacy For the Environment Act” bill, which requires all “elementary, high school, and college students to plant at least 10 trees each as a prerequisite for graduation” (passed by the country’s House of Representatives, Bill 8728).
There are a lot of things that should be associated with planting trees being compared to the birth of a new born child, or graduating from senior high or college (see for your reference https://climate.gov.ph/news/303). If these laws were enforced and we acted together to protect our environment, the Philippines may actually stand a change to recover faster from deforestation, drought, landslides, and all other extreme climate realities faced throughout the country, increasingly intensive every year.
PMFTC’s tree planting sponsorships is a long-term gift for the communities who manage their survival; for freshwater production and storm-protection among other benefits to the Philippines and Earth as a whole.
FEED and UPLB – together with the local communities who manage these protected sites – remain on the ground to ensure that all that we plant from seed will be there even after we all have departed this Earth. It is an opportunity to invest in land restoration and greening the environment, because not many are predisposed to do so. It is our collective call to climate action for future generations and leaders already working to lessen the impact of climate change.
GPS Coordinates of Planting Site
Use any GPS (Global Positioning System) software / applications to input the latitude and longitude coordinates to be able to remotely see the location of your trees planted. Some examples include:
5000 trees planted in Sierra Madre and expecting more customers will join and participate in this green action to combat climate change. This campaign that PMFTC launched will not just help the environment but has also helped struggling upland communities during the pandemic find alternative livelihood sources through sustainable reforestation; it has also helped our government for the people reforest the remaining forests in the Philippines.
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Community Forest Guardians carried out Site Preparation, Planting & will continue with Monitoring/Maintenance & Reporting for the next 3-5 years.
Video of the Planting
About PMFTC [To be provided by PMFTC]
About the Sierra Madre Mountain Range – Longest in the Philippines
The Sierra Madre a 540 km (340 mi) is the longest mountain range in the Philippines. Through the north–south direction from Santa Ana in the province of Cagayan to the north and Quezon province to the south, the mountains form the eastern backbone of Luzon Island, the largest island of the archipelago. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east. The Pacific coast of Luzon along the Sierra Madre is less developed as the lofty and continuous mountains form a bold and almost inaccessible shore, exposed to the full force of the northeast monsoon and the waves of the Pacific Ocean. Some of communities east of the mountain range and along the coast are so remote they are only accessible by plane or boat.
The Sierra Madres is home to native Philippine dipterocarp trees of the Hopea and Shorea family, orchids such as Dendrobium aclinia, the leguminous tree, Milletia longipes and a member of the citrus family, Swinglea glutinosa.
The forests are home to endemic lizard species such as the monitor lizard – Varanus bitatawa (common name: Butikaw), which the Aeta and Ilongot indigenous peoples use as a food source. The monitor lizard is one of the three frugivorous lizards in the Varanidae family along with V. olivaceus and V. mabitang. All of the three frugivorous lizards are found only in the Philippines.
Endemic mammals in Sierra Madre are the Sierra Madre shrew mouse and Sierra Madre forest mouse.
Non-Endemic Flora Species
Narra, the national tree of the Philippines, Almaciga, and Kamagong can be found in the Sierra Madre range.
It is important to note that lower portions of the Sierra Madre mountains still experience frequent and sporadic habitat damage and other forest-losses (flora and fauna) due to anthropogenic activities, such as logging and charcoal-making, often funded by outside “investors”.
Some outside informal settlers living at the lower portions of the slopes generally are supported by work in these logging and charcoal-making activities without permits. Some portions of the forest cover are already secondary growth forests, i.e. forests or woodland areas which have re-grown after a timber harvest, until a long enough period has passed so that the effects of the disturbance are no longer evident; whereas primary forests refers to untouched, pristine forest that exists in their original condition. It is estimated that forest degradation of at least 1,400 hectares per year is caused by illegal tree-cutting, slash and burn farming, fuel-wood collection, illegal hunting, and residential expansion – which if tackled sustainably and with the community can be averted, minimized and even optimized towards healthy and productive, sustainable social forestry practices. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierra_Madre_(Philippines))
Long term survival is as critical as tree-planting is to sustainable reforestation programs, which is why all FEED plantings aim to achieve and have so far sustained survival rates of at least 85 percent of all species planted, making sure they thrive for future generations too.
The Laguna-Quezon Land Grant covers a 6,765-hectare property acquired by the the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) – FEED’s first and longest Living Legacy partner – by virtue of Republic Act 3608 of 1930, forming the larger part adjacent to the Laguna Land Grant in Paete, Laguna. Reforestation and biodiversity conservation remain the core focus of both land grants 90 years after its establishment, since majority of the remaining forest cover of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range is home to a last bastion for many species that have become endangered in other parts of the country.
Social forestry (SF) can be a part of a sustainable forest management (SFM) strategy to achieve environmental, economic and social objectives. “SF and SFM can be compatible because both recognize the importance of community participation in achieving sustainable use of forest resources. However, there is a gap in translating the SF concept to activities within the SFM approach and a lack of continuity. To strengthen the role of local communities in SFM through SF, there is a need for a platform enabling open discussion among relevant stakeholders, increasing awareness about the benefits of SF and securing adequate funding to conduct SF activities.” (Source: https://www.cifor.org/knowledge/publication/7647)
These are the holistic approaches FEED and partners adopt as a science-based, proven method towards enhancing community participation in all planting programs, whether from ridge to reef, up to and including nursery and forest establishment, protection, maintenance, (GPS) monitoring and reporting to ensure at least 85% survival of all species planted, as well as community empowerment in the conservation of our natural resources.
Thank you again to all Earth Keepers at PMFTC!
NATURE IS SPEAKING (Narrated by Julia Roberts)
What can I do to stop climate change?
“As the world warms, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense, sea levels are rising, prolonged droughts are putting pressure on food crops, and many animal and plant species are being driven to extinction. It’s hard to imagine what we as individuals can do to resolve a problem of this scale and severity.
The good news: We are not alone. People, communities, cities, businesses, schools, faith groups and other organizations are taking action. We’re fighting like our lives depend on it — because they do.
In a world of more than seven billion people, each of us is a drop in the bucket. But with enough drops, we can fill any bucket.” – David Suzuki
Check out some of the ways you can take more climate change action.
For example, Climate Action groups are the local solution to a global crisis. Right now people just like you are coming together to develop practical, local solutions and make their towns and cities more climate-friendly. Are you ready to join them? Find out what’s happening near you.
In 2015, the Philippine government submitted to the United Nations the country’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The country committed to reduce its carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030. The carbon dioxide reductions will come from the sectors of energy, transport, waste, forestry and industry. Join us! Help us reverse the Earth’s “hothouse climate” tipping point.
Tree-Planting with FEED
© Fostering Education & Environment for Development, Inc.