UPLB Class Gift Tree-Planting as Civic Engagement for Active Citizens

5 November 2021,  Siniloan, Laguna. 25 native Philippine forest trees were added to the Laguna Quezon Land Grant, situated in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, to thank the active  15 students in the Development Management (DM224) class of Academic Year 2021-2022 led by Dr. Rhea Gumasing at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB):

1 Ann Kristine Aranguren 9 Czarina Mamino
2 Doreen May Cabrera* 10 Arrianne Onella*
3 Airish Dimapilis* 11 Erica Tepait
4 Cyrill Estimado 12 Vanessa Anette Valdez*
5 Lorela Lyn Estrada 13 Ria Anna Vicente
6 Janina Guibani 14 Fatima Eleonor Villasenor
7 Maila Lorenzo 15 Anne-Marie Mananquil Bakker*
8 Ralp Louie Magtagnob

*Group 3 members who had presented their report on New Public Service: “Serving Not Steering” spontaneously agreed to not only reward those students who won the highest points during the quizzes, but decided to gift the entire DM224 class as a gesture of active “public service” and “civic engagement” – central tenets of the New Public Service governance model/theory.

This presentation was the final part of three class group works, with the other two focusing on Traditional/Classic Public Administration and New Public Management, respectively.  The tree-planting gift was inspired by the New Public Service approach that  treats constituents as “citizens” rather than “customers” of the government:

“People are citizens and must demonstrate their concern for the larger community, their commitment to matters that go beyond short-term interests, and their willingness to assume personal responsibility for what happens in their neighbourhoods and community. After all, these are among defining elements of effective and responsible citizenship….we are to encourage more and more people to fulfil their responsibilities as citizens, and in turn, for public administrators to be especially responsive to their voices.” (Denhardt & Denhardt, 2007)

The Active Citizen Continuum is “a rubric to guide those who want to become more active in their community. By describing the different roles in the community it allows participants to identify their current stage and move along the continuum.” (Source: https://www.asb.msu.edu/active-citizenship)

The species planted for DM224 were: 10 Malaruhat, 10 Bani and 5 Lipote; planted by community-based forest guards who also prepared the site, and will manage and carry out regular maintenance for the next 3 years: Randy Velina, Joel Velina, Roger Glipo, Albert Bagayan and Larry Rizaldo.

About the Laguna Quezon Land Grant (LQLG)

Extract from the Executive Summary of the Sustainable Management & Development Plan For the UP Sierra Madre Land Grants

The University of the Philippines (UP), through UP Los Baños (UPLB), manages two land grant areas in the southern portion of the Sierra Madre mountain range, namely the Laguna-Quezon Land Grant (LQLG) and the Laguna Land Grant (LLG), collectively referred to as the UP Sierra Madre Land Grants.

The LQLG, with an area of 5,729 hectares, was given to the University in 1930, to be held and administered as a permanent endowment for additional support and maintenance and for other purposes. On the other hand, the LLG, originally called the Paete Land Reservation and with an area of 3,355 hectares, was awarded to the University in1964 to establish a central experiment station for the research and extension functions of the University, specifically the Colleges of Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine.

GPS Coordinates & Site Pictures

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:


Why Taking Climate Change Action Matters

FEED’s Climate Change Action Programs are community-based planting interventions ranging from:

  • Watersheds: Upland agroforestry sites (protected rainforests managed by Bantay Gubat/Forest Guardians/Jungle Warriors, etc);  to
  • Mid-land: food forests (for public schools and remote areas far from market-access roads); and
  • Sea & Coastal Protection-Based Areas: Lowland mangrove and coral plantings (in coastal areas with trained Bantay Dagat/Fisheries Cooperatives/La Union Surf Club, Inc., etc.).

Ridge to Reef programs endorse the management of waters from source to sea; “healthy and well-managed river basins and coastal areas where people and nature thrive, is the vision behind the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) initiative”.

“Healthy ecosystems are ecological life-support systems. Lands and waters that function to provide goods and services that are vital to human health and livelihood are natural assets that are increasingly referred to as ecosystem services. These services can include clear air, high quality water, carbon sequestration benefits, and habitats that support a range of economically and ecologically valuable resources.” (Source: US Land Trust Alliance)

Tropical forests have a valuable role in relation to climate change, being a source and sink of carbon…Carbon density ranges widely from less than 5 t/ha to more than 200 t/ha in the following order: old growth forests > secondary forest > mossy forest > mangrove forest > pine forest > tree plantation > agroforestry farm > brushlands > grasslands. Carbon sequestration ranges from less than 1 t/ha/yr in natural forests to more than 15 t/ha/yr in some tree plantations. Land-use change and forestry make an important contribution in the national emissions and sinks. It is estimated that Philippine forest lands are a net sink of greenhouse gasses (GHG) absorbing 107 Mt CO2 equivalent in 1998, about equal to the total Philippine GHG emissions.” (Source: Lasco, R.D. & Pulhin. F.B. (2013). Philippine Forest Ecosystems and Climate Change: Carbon stocks, Rate of Sequestration and the Kyoto Protocol, Annals of Tropical Research 25(2): 37-51)

The average number of trees per hectare (in agroforestry and/or industrial plantations) ranges from under 500 to over 2,000 depending on species and site. In this instance, with spacing of 1 square meter between each Philippine indigenous tree, according to Forester Rey Lorida, field supervisor of the Laguna Quezon Land Grant, this tropical tree plantation can sequester an average of 10 tons of carbon per hectare per year.

UPLB is FEED’s first Living Legacy partner in its Climate Change Action Programs’ implementation, having been its first reforestation, conservation, biodiversity protection and tree-planting partner; and the recipient of institutional scholarships for students directly involved in climate, environment, farming, fisheries and sustainability studies and research since 2011.  Anne-Marie Mananquil Bakker (Director pf Partnerships at FEED) is a student of DM224 in partial fulfilment of a PhD in Development Studies, with Specializations in Development Management & Governance; and Social Forestry at UPLB since 2020.

More on UPLB here: uplb.edu.ph

Mother Nature is Speaking – Here’s what she says.

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