SORSOGON CITY – More than a thousand five hundred volunteers from nine towns in the second district of Sorsogon will plant 111,111 seedlings on November 11, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Rene Camacho, DENR Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office Officer in Charge, said seedlings of forest trees, fruit bearing trees and mangrove species would be planted within the denuded portion in nine municipalities.
“This project will help to reforest denuded areas of our forestland and also mitigate climate change,” he added.
DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Office OIC Krisma Rodriguez said the initiative was pushed and spearheaded by Sorsogon Rep. Deogracias B. Ramos Jr. in partnership with the department.
“This program will not only increase the dwindling forest cover of the province, it will also promote environmental awareness to the upland communities and encourage private and public partnership as well as cooperation,” she stressed.
Figures from the DENR revealed that Sorsogon’s forest cover is currently at 16,455 hectares or only 7.68% of the total land area, which is 214,144ha. The desired forest cover is about 35% to 45% of the total land area.
“Forest cover plays an important role in determining the climate of an area. It serves as a sink, trapping and storing carbon dioxide. With the cooperation of the LGUs, DENR and the people of Sorsogon, we can send a strong message that protecting our environment is a universal responsibility,” Rep. Ramos remarked.
He said the initiative is in line with the Aquino administration’s National Greening Program. The program aims to have 1.5bn trees planted by 2016.
The area experiences a Type II climate, which is characterized by a short dry season from April to August then a pronounced maximum rainfall that starts November and ends in January. The district is home to the Bulusan Volcano Natural Park and Prieto Diaz’s Mangrove Forest, which was cited in the Philippine Wetlands Conservation Award and Best Coastal Management Program.
Rodriguez said the tree planting would continue even after November 11 to reach the project’s target coverage of 203 hectares.