What is the Green for Life: One Million Trees and Beyond project all about?
The Green for Life or OMTB for short aims to plant and nurture one million trees by the year 2011.
This is seen as a venue for a more proactive response to environmental issues via tree planting activities and reforestation programs that promote the propagation and caring for indigenous species.
One Million Trees and Beyond implies that the project aspires to contribute beyond just planting trees. It is also a channel for education especially the youth, community development as well as a stepping stone in addressing water and air issues.
More, the project underscores the word “nurture” or the maintenance of the seedlings over time. This is an important aspect of the project.
The project was started in early 2006.
Why should we plant trees?
Planting trees helps fight global warming. As trees grow, they help stop global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and the soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.
Trees help clean the air. It absorbs pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year. To produce its food, a tree absorbs and locks away carbon dioxide, a global warming suspect.
Trees clean the soil. They can either store harmful pollutants present in the soil or change the pollutants into less harmful forms. They filter sewage and farm chemicals, clean roadside spills clean water runoff into streams.
Trees fight soil erosion, conserve rainwater, and reduce water runoff and sediment deposit after storms. Trees can dramatically reduce the occurrence of flash flooding.
Where the seedlings planted? Where are the planting sites?
There are OMT sites in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao generally in places where there is pronounced need. Some examples would include Mt. Kanlaon buffer zone in Negros, Mt. Palay-palay National Park in Cavite, Puga-an in Iligan City, Agos River in Quezon, Calatagan Mangroves in Batangas.
What kinds of seedlings or trees are planted?
Trees planted are generally those that are indigenous to the target site. The project promotes native and endemic species like Ulaian, Guijo, Dao, Apitong Hagakhak, Kalumpit, Amugis, Lamio, Kulatingan, Guijo,Banuyo, Akle, Rizopora and Kalingag. The seedlings are sourced from the local community or people organizations.
When are the seedlings planted?
Generally, the planting season is from June to September during the wet season. This would vary however in the specific geographical location. For mangroves, propagules may be planted during low tide.
How are the trees nurtured and maintained?
A key element in the sustainability is the partnership with the local community or people’s organization. Such partnership is cultivated to ensure that what is planted will be protected. Many times, there is a livelihood component in the partnership. The local DENR is almost always involved and the site is covered by a DENR contract.
Another important element is the periodic inspection and monitoring by the project team. An ocular inspection and documentation is undertaken. In most cases, a three (3) year old tree would be strong enough, sustainable and not require maintenance.