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DENR urges schools to have native tree nurseries

CEBU, Philippines - The Department Environment and Natural Resources-7 is urging all public and private schools, universities and colleges in Central Visayas to establish a plant nursery for native tree species in their respective campuses in a move to boost the “greening” campaign.

 DENR-7 regional executive director Isabelo Montejo is encouraging school institutions to join them in the national greening program of the Aquino administration mentioned in the Philippine Development Plan by maintaining a nursery and growing trees inside the campus that are native and endemic to the Philippines.

According to DENR-7, there are about 3,600 species of trees found in the country, the most famous of which is the narra or Pterocarpus indicus, touted as the national tree. Its wood is said to be one of the toughest in the world.

Other Philippine native trees are guijo or Shorea guiso, kamagong or Diospyrus discolor, red lauan or Shorea negrosensis and white lauan or Shorea contorta, tindalo or Afzelia rhomboidea, yakal or Shorea astylosa, molave or Vitex parviflora, among others.

Montejo said that the initiative will strengthen and propagate more native tree species as it supports and increases biodiversity where wildlife can grow in number.

He said that it could also enhance food production and sources of medicines as it gradually restores a degraded landscape through partnership and collaboration with various stakeholders.

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“Our youth have the dynamism and passion towards the environment and we want to inculcate the value of environmental protection through increased or heightened and continued awareness and advocacy,” he added.

Established in February 2011 under Executive Order No. 26, the NGP seeks to plant some 1.5 billion trees covering about 1.5 million hectares in six years ending in 2016.

So far, the DENR has planted 142.6 million seedlings in more than 232,000 hectares all over the country.

The program also generated more than 364,000 jobs.

It can be recalled that around 7,985,542 seedlings which covered 10,896.10 hectares of forest land in Central Visayas were planted and grown in 2012.  — (FREEMAN)

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