PH breaks record on most trees planted in one hour PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 28 September 2014 14:05

Philippine officials said on Saturday that they had set a new world record for the most trees planted in an hour, with 3.2 million seedlings sown as part of a national forestation program.

Official certification from Guinness World Records will still take weeks, but government officials expressed confidence they had broken the old record of 1.9 million trees planted in India on August 15, 2011.

The trees were planted in 6 different areas in Mindanao by an army of 160,000 people, including government employees, students and volunteers, said the regional environment director Marc Fragada.

“Our official count is about 3.2 million trees in one hour. But we are still getting reports. We still have to prepare the packaging of documentary evidence (for Guinness),” he told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The trees planted were a mix of forest varieties as well as commercial crops like cacao, coffee, and rubber trees, he said.

“They were chosen by the planters in hopes that the local people will take good care of them because it will be part of their livelihood,” he said.

The organizers had originally targeted 4.6 million trees to be planted in one hour, said Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Demetrio Ignacio.

“Based on our count, we have planted more (than India) but whether the record is broken, only Guinness can say that,” he told AFP.

The Philippine archipelago, once densely-forested, has lost much of its forest cover due to development, logging and slash-and-burn farming.

Official figures show the area covered with “closed forest cover” declined from 2.56 million hectares (6.32 acres) in 2003 to 1.93 million in 2010.

President Benigno Aquino has launched a program to reverse that, targeting the planting of 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares before he steps down in 2016.