02 April 2022, Siniloan, Laguna, Sierra Madre Mountain Range. In early March, Ms. Regz M. Negapatan from St. Edward School, one of FEED’s prior youth leaders planting partners with 16 youth ranging from 12 to18 years old of Junior and Senior High Schools, along with 9 school chaperones, joined FEED’s Students and Volunteers for the Environment to plant 25 native Philippine forest trees in advance celebration of Earth Day (Apr 22 every year).
Following an early morning debrief by Forester Reynaldo Lorida of Land Grant Management Office supervision team, the group trekked up to their site which had been prepared by the forest guardian teams as part of FEED’s community based reforestation program. Each hole is pre dug to suitable depth, properly spaced and accompanied by the local species preselected for the area, including Bani, Lipote and White Lauan. Following a practical demonstration on debagging and planting, the students proceeded to plant their trees with vigor. We thank you all for your effort to protect our environment, and hope it encourages other youth leaders to do the same.
FEED to St. Edward School Dialogue on Tree-Planting
What inspired you to carry out this activity with your students?
The 10th Anniversary of St. Edward School inspired me as a person who is an environmental advocate, environmental crusader, and a Biology teacher, I strongly believe that this activity would be more fulfilling if students will be able to realize their significant role in the world where we live in. I would also like them to inspire their fellow Edwardians to take care of the environment by doing these simple steps. This experience will never be forgotten, this will surely inspire more people to take care of the environment.
How often are you able to integrate the environment into your curriculum?
As a Science teacher, integration of the environment into the curriculum is very often contextual, real-life scenarios and experiences show the realization of our school’s core values of Stewardship. Care for the environment is considered one of the most essential learning competencies that students should learn from the curriculum.
How did you feel after having planted?
This experience is very rewarding, I do believe that my fellow teachers and our students can feel the same. I am happy in the sense that we were able to give back to our dear Mother Earth the care that mankind has benefited from it. I am happy that we became part of the Earth’s restoration. We may not witness the good effect of this action, but we are still happy because the next generation will have a better world and greener Earth to care for. We are also grateful beyond measure to connect with wonderful people like you who dedicate your precious to help not only our environment but also the less fortunate individuals as beneficiaries of this advocacy. May God bless you and more power to you all.
Thank you Mam Regina M. Negapatan, Student Affairs Council and Community Extension Coordinator of St Edward School and the teachers, supervisors and student EcoWarriors!
May the Forest be with you all, always!
CERTIFICATE OF PARTICIPATION
Brief Overview into the Conditions of the Philippine Forest (Source: ESSC)
The Philippines is paying a high price for the destruction of its forests and a number of major problems confronting the nation can be traced directly to deforestation. Today, the country faces food insecurity due to soil erosion, which means depleted nutrients and low crop yield. In many provinces, at least 50% of the topsoil has been lost, and 70% of all croplands are vulnerable to erosion. The country’s climatic conditions are such that typhoons sweep the country an average of 19 times a year. The topography is mainly uplands with a slope equal to or greater than 18% and these areas make up 52% of total land area. In the absence of forest cover and with frequent heavy typhoon rains, soil erosion, mass wasting, and landslides are induced.
The Philippines is facing water insecurity because of degraded and poorly managed watersheds. More than 57 % of the major watersheds are critically denuded, which means loss of water infiltration and slow recharging of water tables. Nationwide, water quality has deteriorated and cities like Manila, Cebu, Davao, and Baguio, are constantly facing water shortages. A country that once exported some of the finest woods in the world is now a net wood importer.
The decimation of the forest is a tragedy for indigenous peoples. Ethnic groups become forced to retreat into the interior and further impoverished. Government is doing little to raise these people above their subsistence level. Some have left their lands, and the sight of indigenous peoples begging in city streets is not uncommon. They have lost their lands, and their culture has been degraded. With the destruction of indigenous cultures, the nation is losing a treasure that should be nurtured to enrich national cultural diversity.
This loss of cultural communities is closely linked to the loss of biodiversity. Tropical forests are rich in herbs, woody plants, birds, insects, and animal life. Destroying the forests means destroying the myriad creatures and flora on which the indigenous communities depend. Forest loss also means loss of forest products such as, rattan, resins, and gums, a source of livelihood for indigenous people. Wildlife is quickly disappearing and to date, the destruction of the ecosystems is taking a heavy toll on biodiversity: 18 species of fauna are already rare and endangered, while 43 species of birds are threatened with extinction.
About St Edwards School, Philippines
St. Edward School is used to be known as St. Edward Integrated School (SEIS). It was founded in 2012 by the Property Company of Friends (PRO-FRIENDS) and is located in Lancaster New City, Alapan, Imus, Cavite.
As Lancaster New City grows, it envisions a community that provides a well-rounded lifestyle and offers not only homes but commercial amenities, jobs, recreation and schools. With this in mind, St. Edward Integrated School (SEIS) was established.
For more info, see: http://www.ses.edu.ph/
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
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