• Mindanao eyes Guinness record for tree planting

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    DAVAO CITY: Over four million trees will be planted in 228 sites all over Mindanao next month as part of the region’s bid to boost the regreening program of the government and to set a new Guinness world record for most number of trees planted simultaneously in one hour.

    Luwalhati Antonino, chairperson of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), said the target is to mobilize 230,000 people in one hour to plant 4,636,000 trees in 9,200 hectares.

    “We encourage every Mindanawon to participate in this endeavor, which will not only elevate the island-region as a Guinness world record holder, but more importantly will also provide the constituents the opportunity to be part of the larger efforts to reforest Mindanao,” explained Antonino.

    MinDA and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources are organizing the program dubbed “TreeVolution: Greening MindaNOW” in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

    India set the world record on August 15, 2011 with 1,945,535 trees were planted by 340,200 people across 408 locations.

    DENR Regional Director Joselin Marcus Fragada stressed that the Guinness record is just an add-on, saying the challenge is how stakeholders would ensure that the sustainability of the effort.

    “We hope to encourage stakeholders to make this initiative sustainable,” he said.

    If Mindanao succeeded in its campaign, it will be the second time that the Philippines would set a record in the tree plant- ing category. Camarines Sur snatched the world record for most trees planted simultaneously in a single site on February 23, 2011.

    “This looks like an insurmountable task,” said Antonino. “But with a well-planned and synchronized mobilization, coordination, and information campaign, there is no doubt that Mindanawons can carry out this challenge.”

    Fragada, meanwhile, highlighted the main goal of the Guinness attempt, which is to showcase “collaborative efforts in Mindanao, particularly on the island-region’s greening efforts”.

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