“If we have not, in fact, reached this state, we are almost at the point of irreversibility.”, Dr. Ernesto Guiang, a forestry consultant, echoed the same concern: “We are now at the eleventh hour. “Forests were decimated at an astonishing rate of 300,000 hectares per year,” Tan deplored. “Extensive soil erosion has resulted in the siltation of waterbeds, reservoirs and dams, and in the process shortening their productive life spans,” said Dr. Germelito Bautista, of the Ateneo de Manila University. They […] So what must be done? Methods 2.1. “That money in mangrove hectare terms would be more than 752 hectares of mangroves – enough to cover the whole stretch of Manila Bay from Luneta to all the way to Cavite City twice.”. However, while substantial investments are being made in reforestation, little information exists on the drivers influencing reforestation success and how these interact to determine environmental and socio-economic outcomes. Most sabotaged the program.”, The bluntness seemed to echo an earlier study of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, entitled “Sustainable Forest Management,” which stated, “Most of the (Philippines’) once rich forest are gone. When the Ormoc City, Leyte tragedy happened – which left 8,000 people dead – timber cover was only 18%. Old-growth mangrove forests are mainly found in Mindanao (4,582 hectares) and Palawan (5,317 hectares). Surging population has compounded the problem. The mantra these days: “We can bring the Pasig River back to life.”  Perhaps, aside from cleaning the river from all the waste and sludge, the river can be brought back to its former self by planting mangroves along the river banks. “We have laid to waste millions of hectares of forest land, as though heedless of the tragic examples of the countries of Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean, where large areas have become barren, if not desertified,” Alvarez said. Mangroves are very important to marine life, Dr. Guerrero points out. The mangrove areas have been used as disposal for solid and liquid domestic wastes, oil, garbage, and pesticides. As of 2012, the NGP has sequestered about 38.9 million tons of carbon worth 14 Billion PhP. The project seeks to establish a system that both achieves successful reforestation and supports the livelihood of local communities. 2. Aside from logging (whether legal or illegal), other causes of deforestation in the Philippines are forest fires, “kaingin” farming (slash-and-burn agriculture), and mining operations. Jose Ma. “Where have all our forests gone?” asked Roy C. Alimoane, the director of Davao-based Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center. All rights reserved. This affects reforestation as much as other environmental programmes. At all times, it is “extremely turbid and black,” according to Philippine Environmental Action Network. “Implement this law strictly as a climate change mitigation/adaptation measure by local government units,” he suggests. There were only 19 million Filipinos, according to the 1940 census. From a vast area of mudflats, it is now a beautiful mangrove forest and a tourist attraction. Philippines Deforestation Threats and Reforestation Issues. The said statement, according to veteran journalist Marites Dañguilan-Vitug, is a “doublespeak.”  In an article she wrote for “World Paper,” a Boston-based magazine, she explained: “For, in reality, over 20 years (1965-1985) he used his power to grant and revoke licenses of logging concessions to enrich himself, his family and his friends. They serve as sanctuaries and feeding grounds for fish that nibble on detritus (fallen and decaying leaves) trapped in the vegetation, and on the bark and leaves of living trees. But in the past, they grew in multitudes in Pasig River, which stretches 25 kilometers from Manila Bay in the west to Laguna de Bay in the east. Successful Reforestation in the Philippines:Technical Considerations Wilfredo M. Carandang and Rodel D. Lasco INTRODUCTION When the Spaniards set foot in the Philippines more than 400 years ago the country was covered with 90% forests (ca.27M ha). “There has been a drop of 30% to 50% in the country’s water resources in the past 20 years or so,” pointed out Dr. Rafael D. Guerrero, former executive director of Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development. In the past, forest resources helped fuel the country’s economy. The Magat Dam reservoir has been reported to cut its probable life span of 100 years to 25 years. [6] When he was still the head of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Michael Defensor admitted that “only 30% of reforestation projects succeeded.”  In a Subic meeting of local executives, he told them: “People hardly recognize the economic benefits from protecting the environment. The Philippines’ once sprawling 16 million hectares (39.5 million acres) of virgin forests dominated by hardwoods is now down to only 700,000 hectares (1.7 million acres). “Fry that gather in mangrove areas are very important for aquaculture.”. ... A popular method of ecological forest restoration is reforestation, which is the re‐establishment of native tree cover to land previously cleared of rain forest (Lamb, Erskine & … In February of 2011, the president of the Philippines declared an ambitious goal: to plant 1.5 billion trees on 1.5 million hectares by 2016. “The Philippine eagle has become critically endangered species because the loss of the forest had made it lose its natural habitat,” said ex-president Fidel V. Ramos, who declared the eagle as the country’s bird icon. The construction of tourism infrastructures like hotels and restaurants has also contributed to the destruction of mangroves. Over the past century, the islands that make up the Philippines have lost nearly three-quarters of their mangrove forests. Water crisis is looming. In The Philippines alone, nearly three quarters of the mangrove forests are gone. Silonay Island: A Successful Mangrove Reforestation Program - See traveler reviews, candid photos, and great deals for Calapan, Philippines, at Tripadvisor. Ditto for typhoons, which have devastated considerable hectares of forest areas. The barangay is located at the mouth of the Aklan River and, in the past, the community was directly exposed to the ravages of the sea and severe river flooding during typhoons and heavy rains. In the 1970s, Philippines was touted the prima donna among world timber exporters. The entitlement of land to manage has successfully altered the mindset of the communities involved to care more for the importance of the forests in which they live instead of degrading them. “The productivity of the country’s agricultural lands and fisheries is declining as these (forest) areas become increasingly degraded and pushed beyond their capacity to produce,” said Mogerlgaard. Forests also serve as home to some 12 million indigenous peoples. They lived in the big cities. As of 2012, due to mangrove reforestation efforts, the mangrove cover in Philippines has increased to 0.311 million hectares as compared to 0.247 million hectares in 2003. Without forest, floods are expected to happen – not only in Metro Manila (which has no forest cover to speak of) but also in other parts of the country where deforestation continues. “The area is now promoted as an alternative tourism site alongside Boracay Island and Kalibo’s Ati-atihan Festival,” said Jun N. Aguirre, a member of the Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists, Inc. Another benefit of mangroves: they provide protection from storm surges and high winds associated with tropical typhoons. Pasig River was once of the most captivating tributaries to watch as it was once touted as “the Venice of the East.”  The river was so beguiling that it captivated the heart of Dr. Jose Rizal. 1 million mangroves will make an enormous contribution to binding CO2 and restoring the ecosystem. Nueva Vizcaya Reforestation Project . Deforestation of mangroves is causing severe problems to the environment. “I have seen fortunes made overnight from the forest and it makes my skin crawl to realize that there are many Filipinos who just don’t care about the future generations’ legacy in the way of forest resources,” said Ferdinand Marcos in 1978. Although a World Bank report released in 2005 stated that mangrove cover in the country was “now relatively stable” – particularly those around Bohol and Siquijor islands – Dr. Rafael D. Guerrero III said that mangroves are still in peril. He has additionally led the successful reforestation efforts of tropical rainforests in Malaysia, Borneo and Japan. One project which is hailed as a great success from the Philippines CBFM initiative is the case study of YISEDA. We have to pay attention to the handwriting on the wall with respect to our forests.”, Tagged: Reforestation, deforestation, mangrove forest rehabilitation, the philippines. The reforestation landscape is dotted with small groups, many of which use corporate money given as carbon offsets that are becoming increasingly popular. Mangroves are communities of trees in the tidal flats in coastal waters, extending inland along rivers where the water is tidal, saline, or brackish. Copyright © 2009 - 2020, Gaia Discovery. The forests became his grand political tool.”. “It’s a slow creeping enemy that soon possesses the land.”, As a result, food production is jeopardized. President Benigno S. Aquino III, in his state of the nation address (SONA) in 2011, stated that most politicians use one possible solution – that of tree planting – as a photo opportunity. “Asphalt is often the last harvest for many forests,” the late National Scientist Dioscoro Umali, a Ramon Magsaysay Award recipient, once said. Fruit bat diversity patterns for assessing restoration success in reforestation areas in the Philippines Author: Fidelino, Jay S., Duya, Mariano Roy M., Duya, Melizar V., Ong, Perry S. Source: Acta oecologica 2020 v.108 pp. Mangroves, which most people consider as unimportant, are fast disappearing. “Rivers and streams also carry eroded soil to the coasts, where it interferes with fish nursery areas.”. People depend on seafood for nutrition, hence an even greater need to preserve mangroves, which are the natural habitats of many aqua-creatures. By doing so, the government will save money as it is cheaper than building 100-meter of protected seawalls. “That’s a total of only PhP125,000 per hectare in 5 years,” he says. Copyright © 2009 - 2020, Gaia Discovery. The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 typhoons a year. In an article he penned for “Philippine Daily Inquirer,” he surmised that when Marcos came to power “serious deforestation began.”  Before Marcos became president, there were only 58 companies issued with timber licenses; it swelled to 412 during his presidency. Instead of building seawalls, he suggests planting mangroves in areas susceptible to storm surges. The Philippines, a tropical island nation in the Pacific, will now require by law all graduating students from elementary school to college plant 10 trees each before they can graduate. Even the forests in the lowlands – mangroves, that is – are not spared from denudation. Mangrove forests also serve as protection against soil erosion. Many think deforestation happens only in the uplands as cutting the trees means loss of lives and livelihoods as the raging waters from the higher areas bring floods and landslides. American President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as helpless.”. Jungle in Crisis: Indonesians Act to Stop Deforestation, Navicula Kalimantan Tour: Save Rainforests, Save Orangutans Now, Mangrove Forest Deforestation in the Philippines. Promotion of Sustainable Communities across the Philippines through Silk Production It used to be home to over 12,400 hectares of lush mangrove forests. The Philippine island of Panay suffered severe damage as a result of last year's Typhoon Haiyan. “Rapid forest loss has eliminated habitat for unique and threatened plant and animal species,” Mogerlgaard observed. Deforestation - what do we understand by it? The removal of forest cover has bolstered soil erosion in the uplands. the drivers that have determined reforestation success inthePhilippines.Wedothisbysurveying43reforestation projects on Leyte Island, covering 98 potential drivers and 12 success indicators. Moreover, money for logging supported candidates during election campaigns.”. By 2020, the population will surge to 111.7 million, National Statistical Coordination Board projects. “They plant trees, but they do not ensure that the trees would remain standing after they leave,” he said. More than 400 plant and animal species found in the country are currently threatened with extinction, including the Philippine eagle and tamaraw, according to the World Conservation Union. Examples include the United Nations Billion Trees Campaign, the National Greening Program in the Philippines, and the 5 million ha reforestation program in Vietnam. 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