Trees 4 Sustainability

Tree Nourishing activity aims to combat climate change by planting trees that will grow to act as carbon sinks – reservoirs that absorb and store the atmosphere’s carbon with physical and biological mechanisms. Forests, as part of our country’s cultural heritage and biodiversity, also help prevent floods and mitigate the damage caused by typhoons, as they store excess rainwater and prevent extreme run-offs, acting as a sort of protective barrier for the surrounding communities.

The Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape (UMRBPL) covers much of Rizal province and  is among the many tributaries of Pasig River. Promoting conservation in this watershed area is vital in ensuring Metro Manila and nearby provinces’ water supply which has recently experienced water shortage. Despite the importance of UMRBPL as a watershed, illegal activities such as charcoal making, logging, and kaingin (slash-and-burn farming) are still rampant in the area. The lack of trees in UMRBLP that could have prevented flooding is evident during the 2009 Tropical Depression Ondoy. Despite being a relatively weak storm, the tropical depression had brought much rain causing the river to swell up to 23 m or as tall as an 8-storey building.

 

The plantation site is located at Brgy. Wawa, Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal. The. Apart from Mt. Binacayan and Mt. Pamitinan which are popular hiking trails, the site is also known for Wawa Dam which has been constructed in 1904 to supply water in Manila. It has been closed in 1964 because of the lack of water supply. However, there are plans to restore the dam to augment Metro Manila’s increasing water demand. Apart from these natural and human-made landmarks, the area is also known for its folklore. Bernardo Carpio, a demigod and a giant, was said to prevent the collision of the two mountains.

 

One approach to protect and preserve UMRBLP’s natural and cultural features is through reforestation initiatives such as tree nourishing activities. More than planting trees, nourishing activities ensure survival of seedlings by involving the immediate communities to nurture the plants. This discourages them to participate in illegal activities by introducing alternative livelihood to the people.

                                                         

 


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