DAVAO CITY:Just over a week into the record-breaking Treevolution Mindanao Project on September 26, organizers have so far recorded 195,000 people who will be joining the simultaneous tree-planting activity.
The event, that targets to plant 4.6 million trees in multiple areas across Mindanao, is not only aimed at breaking the more the than 1.9-million tree record currently held by India, but also to spread the advocacy of environmental protection.
Ann Marie Oledan, Treevolution Mindanao event coordinator, said they continue to receive online registrations every day. Treevolution Mindanao is spearheaded by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“There are more registrants and a lot of participants are coming in and we are happy that many Mindanawons are willing to join a campaign that will ultimately help in the efforts to save the environment,” said Oledan.
She said the project will not only be a ‘tree-growing’ event, but instead, instill environmental awareness among Mindanawons.
“We will be able to show to the world that we are doing something good for the environment and for ourselves,” she said. “We will be able to show the world that we are working toward peace and environmental integrity.”
The Confederation of of Provincial Governors, City Mayors and Municipal League presidents of Mindanao (Confed-Mindanao) passed a resolution supporting the campaign.
The resolution, signed by Confeb-Mindanao chairperson and Surigao del Sur Gov. Johny Pimentel, said each municipality and city local government unit will be contributing five hectares to be plating sites. The campaign’s target is to cover 9,200 hectares all over Mindanao.
Before the resolution was issued, Interior Sec. Mar Roxas on August 7 issued a memorandum addressed to all local government officials in Mindanao to “participate in this historic event”.
The Civil Service Commission has also enjoyed all heads of government offices and government-owned and controlled corporations to “participate in the significant event”.
Students, teachers, and employees of Mindanao-based public and private higher education institutions are also expected.
The government has earlier targeted to increase Mindanao’s forest cover to 30 percent from last year’s 25 percent.
To do this, the government is pushing for the reforestation of 690,815 hectares. The National Greening Project of the government is only intended to cover over 303,000 hectares from the said target.
Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos of Butuan has earlier called on the public to participate in the campaign.
“By planting more trees, we will also be able to save more lives. Let’s all participate in this noble activity with hope that this will be a successful one and that we can also break the record,” said Pueblos at a press conference in Butuan on September 4.
JEFRY M. TUPAS