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PIA Press Release

DENR Trees-for-Life project targets Region 8 watersheds, protected areas

Tacloban City (September 5) -- In answer to the Trees-for-Life Project which aims to plant 10 million tree seedlings in about 13,000 hectares within the country's watersheds and protected areas this August 2007, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 8 through its partners, has conducted massive tree planting activities in the watersheds of Southern Leyte and Samar.

Ms. Purificacion Daloos, Information Officer of DENR 8 informed that a massive tree planting of 800 seedling of sagimsim trees in a 2.4 kilometer stretch, was conducted on August 10 at Barangay Imelda, Silago, Southern Leyte, where Congressman Roger Mercado of the lone district of Southern Leyte committed to extend funding assistance to the Katipunan, Imelda Catmon Community Farmers' Association, Inc., a people's organization under the DENR;s Community Based Forest Management Program.

The KICCFA, Inc. shall develop the 1,617 hectares Silago Watershed area by planting fruit and forest trees to provide livelihood opportunities to the people of the three barangays near the watershed area.

Another development option for the watershed is development of some portion of ecotourism. Ms. Daloos informed that a central seedling nursery will be established in the area where the seedling materials for the private tree planters and the entire Silago watershed will be sourced.

The other partners in this endeavor include the Provincial Government of Southern Leyte, the municipal government of Silago, the Department of Public Works and Highways, Silago National Vocational School, German Technical Cooperation, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Army and the concerned barangay government units.

The massive tree planting in protected areas was conducted on August 17 at the Samar Island Natural Park's Protected Area Office in Barangay Tenami, Paranas, Samar. The massive tree planting in protected areas of Region 8 will be conducted in the 333,000 hectares covering the three provinces of Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar.

The Trees for Life project is a follow-up to last year's Green Philippines Highways which saw the simultaneous planting of trees along major highways. This time, 20 million seedlings will be planted in denuded watersheds, depleted mangrove areas, and logged-over upland forests all over the country. Only indigenous and endemic tree species which have high water retaining capacity, will be planted in the watersheds and protected areas.

Watersheds are forest land reservations established to protect or improve the conditions of the water yield and to reduce sedimentation.

Protected areas are water and land areas set aside for their unique physical and biological significance. These are being managed to enhance their biological diversity and to ensure their protection against destructive human activities.

In Region 8, there are about six (6) protected areas and thirteen (13) critical watersheds. (PIA 8) [top]

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