Trees 4 Sustainability

About Trees 4 Sustainability

The Trees 4 Sustainability (T4S) Programme is a transformative initiative dedicated to revitalizing Philippine forests. With four key pillars, T4S addresses climate change (SDG 13), supports biodiversity (SDG 15), safeguards watersheds, and fosters sustainable livelihoods. By planting trees, we create carbon sinks, provide homes for diverse species, and protect vital watersheds. This initiative aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals, promoting life on land (SDG 15), life below water (SDG 14), and climate action (SDG 13), ensuring a more resilient and prosperous future for all.

As the highest environmental activity, tree planting remains crucial, yet the tree population continues to dwindle. With a focus on four major issues – watershed protection, and carbon dioxide absorption for climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, and promoting livelihood in forestry – T4S aims to popularize the concept of trees as renewable resources.

Drawing inspiration from Finland’s forestry-based economy, where 80% of its economy relies on forestry, T4S seeks to unlock the potential of the underutilized forestry economy in the Philippines. Through strategic partnerships aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a crowd-funding initiative, T4S works towards conserving and nurturing our forests for the future.

Emphasizing tree nourishment alongside tree planting, T4S ensures the survival of trees for at least three years. Additionally, the program is championing the Philippine Forest Certifications and proposing a forestry incentive bill in collaboration with the private sector to encourage greater engagement in forestry initiatives.

To address the high transactional cost in the forestry industry, T4S is developing a monitoring app to allow sponsors to track and support their sponsored trees effectively. With the Trees 4 Sustainability (T4S) Programme, PCEPSDI envisions a greener and more resilient future, where forests flourish, ecosystems thrive, and communities find sustainable livelihoods amidst the wealth of our natural resources.

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.

TREES 4 SUSTAINABILITY – Nourishing Trees for Nurturing Nature is a unique tree planting and forest landscape restoration program that aims to promote sustainable forest management through public-private-community partnership. By adopting a tree to be nourished until it attains its sustainability, you can now contribute and participate in a nation-wide greening and forest conservation program. Geared towards achieving sustainable development goals, it endeavors contributing to lessening the adverse impacts of climate change, water and watershed conservation, biodiversity protection, and revitalizing forestry industries that provide inclusive growth. 

Administered by the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc., in partnership with various cause-oriented organizations, governments, and private sectors, a tree nourishing program has been launched to reforest selected sites and forest parks through contribution of donors and patrons of trees with a guaranteed success of survival through the issuance of Tree Certificates with proper identification and geo-tags of the tree being adopted. 

Why Adopt A Tree? 

The Philippines ranks 3rd among the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world where we are prone to adverse effects of climate change.  Among the major causes of climate change is the rapidly increasing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which is caused by several activities such as burning of fossil fuels and deforestation among others. With the reduction of forest cover that could have absorbed the greenhouse gas, climate crisis is heightened. As of 2015, the total forest cover recorded is 7 M hectares from the 15 M hectares declared forestland. Despite the growth, this still pales in comparison to the country’s forest cover more than a century ago reaching up to 21 M hectares or 70% of the total land area. Such climate hazards can be minimized by restoring forest landscape through sustainable tree planting program that will serve as carbon storage and enhance the water holding capacity of forest ecosystem such as the Marikina watershed.

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