Mindanao folks to set world tree planting record PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 August 2014 11:46

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will participate in an attempt to set a world record for planting more than four million trees in the country’s south on September 26.

ARMM Natural Resources Secretary Kahal Kedtag on Thursday said his office and the region’s chief executive, Gov. Mujiv Hataman, will jointly oversee the involvement of the region’s cross-section communities in the event.

Government agencies, various non-government organizations, the academe, cause-oriented and religious groups will join the September 26, 2014 attempt to set an international feat for planting of trees in mainland Mindanao and surrounding islands.

The project, dubbed “TreeVolution: Greening MindaNOW, was conceived by the  Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Field offices of DENR in administrative regions, including the ARMM government, will lead the tree planting event in the autonomous region, according to Kedtag.

“The Hataman administration fully supports this activity of MinDA and DENR,” he added.

Kedtag said the activity is intended to surpass India’s world record of having planted 1, 945,535 trees in different locations on August 15, 2011.

Kedtag said they are now initiating coordination with the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, other military and police units in the ARMM and with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to ensure the safety of participants.

The Philippines already holds the world record for most trees planted simultaneously at a single site. This was achieved in Camarines Sur on Feb. 23, 2011 when 6,893 people planted 64,096 trees at a 32-hectare site.

In a statement, MinDA said the September 26 attempt to set a world tree planting record aims to encourage massive stakeholder participation to meet Mindanao’s target for the National Greening Program (NGP).

“It is also part of the long-term campaign of DENR and MinDA’s MindaNOW Program to instill among Mindanawons the consciousness of a sustainable management of environment and natural resources as part of the larger efforts for climate change adaptation,” MinDA chairman Lou Antonino said.

Kedtag said perennially flooded Maguindanao province, a component area of ARMM, stand to benefit from MinDA and DENR’s massive tree planting projects.

Kedtag said Maguindanao’s Moro, Christian and lumad communities will participate in the activity, which  will complement the efforts of provincial officials to reforest hinterlands.

The provincial government is trying to address the perennial overflowing of rivers and marshes in Maguindanao during the rainy days through planting of trees in surroundings of swamps that connect to Central Mindanao’s 220,000-hectare Liguasan Delta.

He said Maguindanao is host to continuing tree planting projects, which include the on-going dispersal of free rubber tree seedlings by the office of Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu.

Kedtag said the governor has dispersed more than 200,000 rubber tree seedlings to his peasant constituents since he started the project a couple of years ago.

“And massive of propagation of rubber trees is scientifically accepted as good alternative for restoring forest cover in barren lands. If we add to the rubber trees now growing in Maguindanao the trees we are to plant on September 26, we shall have millions of new trees in the province,” Kedtag said.

He said the DENR-ARMM is thankful to the office of Mangudadatu and the Minrico, Inc., which is Central Mindanao’s top producer of Antipolo tree seedlings, the key benefactors of the agency’s reforestation thrusts in the province, including the September 26 bid to set a Guinness record.

Minrico, Inc., which is based in Cotabato City and has a wood processing facility in nearby Sultan Kudarat town, has been providing the DENR-ARMM with Antipolo seedlings during tree planting activities.

“Our partnership with these two benefactors, in terms of protecting the environment, will go a long way,” Kedtag said.

He said he is confident the MinDA and the DENR can achieve the goal of planting at least 4,636,000 trees at various sites covering a total area of 9,200 hectares in Mindanao, including the ARMM provinces.