Treevolution: Greening Mindanao Challenge

-A A +A

Saturday, September 13, 2014

WITH the diminishing forest covers today, environmental advocates are pushing for a world record-breaking challenge to restore the real beauty of lush green scenery in the island of Mindanao.

On September 26, 2014, starting from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., participants to the Treevolution: Greening Mindanao in the six regions of the island will simultaneously attempt to break the 1,945,535 of trees planted in one hour in 408 locations in India by the 340,200 participants in 2011.

However, MinDA's development management officer Lordilie Saligumba-Enjambre stressed that other than the desire to put the country in another world record, the one-hour challenge will be a sustainable answer to the balding forestry in Mindanao.


"Our goal for this is really more than breaking the record of India. The crucial objective is for us to use this “Treevolution” challenge as a strategy to enhance the forest cover of Mindanao," Enjambre told Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro Friday.

Diminishing forest cover

At present, Mindanao is down to 6 percent of forest reserves from 70 percent in the 1990s.

MinDA will pitch some 244,444 participants to plant at least in 690,000 hectares inside the National Greening Program (NGP) areas and other areas identified by the local government units and private sector partners.

"In this Treevolution attempt, we hope to bring up the percentage from 6 percent immediately to, at least, 30 percent or to be able to cover 690,000 hectares to be grown with trees," Enjambre added.

Government agencies, the academe and some private sectors from all six regions here have already committed to grace the event.

According to Enjambre, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Local and Interior Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Education (Deped), Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce (Oro Chamber) have all required their constituents to participate in the challenge.

In northern Mindanao, MinDA already has 800 hectares to use for the planting.

Guinness rules

As per Guinness rules, there will be 25 planters per hectare with 20 seedlings each or a minimum of 500 hundred seedlings per hectare from cacao, coffee, molave, narra, lauan, mangrove, mango, jackfruit and other trees.

In Malaybalay City, MinDA together with the other involved agencies launched the TREEvolution there on September 10.

“This is an attempt to break India’s record, notwithstanding that we will achieve the 2014 NGP target of Mindanao of 690, 815 hectares planted by 2016 or a 30 percent land cover for the island, aside from instilling environmental awareness and promote proactive participation among Mindanawons,” said Olie Dagala, Mindanao coordinator of MinDA.

MinDA said the Treevolution is the island’s local response or contribution to mitigate the global concerns of climate change and part of Mindanao’s Peace and Development Framework.

Cash crop trees

Felix Mirasol, Bukidnon Provincial Environment and Natural Resources officer, said that cash crop trees were selected as planting materials so that those who will maintain and ensure that the planted seedlings will grow and bear fruit, will have the economic opportunity-an income for the community- in the years to come.

Mirasol said that Bukidnon has identified 500-hectare planting sites mostly located in the ancestral domains of the indigenous people (IP) in the province.

“We selected the lands of the IPs for the tribes to have the opportunity to income from the crops and for them to take the responsibility to grow and nurture the planted seedlings in line with the government’s direction for an inclusive growth.” Mirasol said.

Based on the calculation of the DENR, 500 seedlings can be planted in one hour or 20 seedlings per participant.


To validate the record-breaking attempt, witnesses and stewards will be around at the planting locations. One steward is assigned to every 50 participants in an area and two witnesses per province. The stewards and witnesses will sign the Guinness Form.

The organizers, said that at least there is a qualified one witness or an expert of the international body, association, group of reference governing category under which the record takes place or university teachers with expertise in the field relevant to the record; civil lawyers; and an audit company or professional services firm contracted by the record organizers to independently verify the outcome of the record and following of the guidelines; and those serving as stewards should come from the academe-teachers, professors, experts, and the religious sector.

But with the financial constraints, MinDA cannot invite Guinness personnel to come and witness the world challenge. Instead, public officials like mayors and personnel from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) will be tapped as witnesses of the “Treevolution” challenge.

"Instead them sending people as witnesses, we requested them that we will just assign our witnesses in different regions," Saligumba said.

MinDA said the expenses for the activity – seedlings, materials, survey, mapping, food and travel mobilization of stewards and witnesses- shall be borne by the local government units, while the same expenditures would be shouldered by the registrants for planting done in private locations.

The Treevolution is promoted by the Philippine Information Agency as part of its advocacy on climate change.

For individuals who wish to participate in the world record try of Mindanao, volunteers can visit Treevolution: Greening Mindanao on Facebook to register or the nearest provincial or city environment and natural resources office.

“We enjoin everyone to be part of the campaign and together let’s plant trees on September 26, 2014 even right on your backyards,” Enjambre said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 14, 2014.


DISCLAIMER: Sun.Star website welcomes friendly debate, but comments posted on this site do not necessary reflect the views of the Sun.Star management and its affiliates. Sun.Star reserves the right to delete, reproduce or modify comments posted here without notice. Posts that are inappropriate will automatically be deleted.

Forum rules: Do not use obscenity. Some words have been banned. Stick to the topic. Do not veer away from the discussion. Be coherent and respectful. Do not shout or use CAPITAL LETTERS!