Mindanaons forget armed conflict, join ‘TreeVolution’ PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 27 September 2014 14:03

Setting aside the fear of armed conflict, Muslims, Christians and other tribes in Mindanao on Friday sought to break the world record for the most trees planted simultaneously in multiple locations.

The campaign - named “TreeVolution” - aims to plant 4.6 million trees to eclipse the current record of 1.9 million held by India, according to the state-run Philippine Information Agency.

Trees planted will include rubber, cacao, coffee, timber, falcatta, forest trees, fruit trees, mahogany, narra, mangroves, and indigenous trees - many of which were indingenous in the area but have become almost obsolete due to chronic deforestation.

As of 8 a.m. Friday, Davao city residents flocked to some of the planting sites, occasionally causing heavy traffic, reported dzBB radio.

Mindanao Development Authority Project Development Chief Joan Barrera that more than 185,000 people had signed up for the event as of Tuesday and registrations are still pouring in.

Taking part in TreeVolution were thousands of people from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, all suffering from armed conflicts involving Muslim separatist groups, such as the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the militant Abu Sayyaf group the Bangsamoro Islamic Fighters (BIFF), and communist rebel group the New People’s Army.

DZBB Davao reported that participants from government, police, military, students and religious groups woke up before dawn to head for the planting sites.

In Talon-Talon, one of six villages affected by a siege by the MNLF on the predominantly Christian city of Zamboanga City, some 500 participants waded throughwaist deep water to plant “bakawan” saplings in mangrove areas.

The planting site stretches through the 5-hectare mangrove area with 12,500 saplings.

Mindanao-wide, the target is to reach 4.6 million trees in one hour to be planted all over the six regions with the aim of breaking India’s world record of 1.94 million.

A team from Guinness World Records has arrived in Zamboanga to document and to validate the entry.

The “Treevolution” initiative supports the Philippines greening program that targets 1.5 million hectares reforested by 2016.