Friday, September 24, 2010

Restoring 1M Hectares of Philippine Forests - How can I help?

Philippines, we have a problem...

Our country's forest area is slowly being reduced through the years due to many factors that affect our society. According to a blog in, we are losing 2 percent of our forests each year. Less than 20 percent of our original forest cover remains today.

If this continues, in a couple of years, there will be nothing left of our precious resource.

Some of the reasons cited for our forest's decline include:

a) modernization - we sacrifice our forests for the sake of being an industrialized nation. We need to harvest more lumber for constructing modern infrastructure like buildings, roads and bridges, and produce more paper for schools and offices. Little do we care about the impact it does on our forests.

b) urbanization - The Philippines right now is nearing 100 million in population, and rising! Our forests on the other hand is dwindling because of our need to have more space for subdivisions and lumber for constructing homes and condos. Our government already has its hands tied with the current population boom.

c) corruption - because of widespread corruption, the government is not able to do its duty to protect the forest sanctuaries from illegal loggers. This problem was even cited by the DENR because they themselves failed their task to watch over activities of illegal logging (source from Phil. Daily Inquirer).

d) greed - illegal logging is one of the major reasons why our forests are dying. Illegal loggers will never stop doing their thing because obviously, there is a lot of money to be made in the illegal trade. And while illegal loggers freely corrupt our forest reserves, the DENR is doing a poor job in stopping them.

e) neglect - while we know that problems exist with respect to our forests, we barely lift a finger to stop these from happening because we are too fixated on our own problems rather than the environment.

The crisis endangering our forests must be addressed immediately, or we will suffer the consequences of flooding and climate change. We must act now before we forever lose our forests.

How do we restore 1 million hectares of Philippine forests?

As bloggers and as citizens we can do the following to restore what has already been lost. We can do the following steps to make reforestation a reality.

a) spread the word - We need to inform our fellow Pinoys that there is a problem that needs to be fixed. By telling others, through words, advertising or through blogs, we can make a difference. We need to tell our kababayans that we have to move NOW so that we can mobilize and start restoration of 1 million hectares of forests. We tell our fellowmen the effects of deforestation - like what happened last year when typhoon Ondoy flooded most of Luzon to convince them to move.

b) put some sense into our leaders - We have to tell our government officials that we need the revival of forest lands. It is through our leaders that efforts of the masses can be more coordinated. Without leadership, restoring our forests will be next to impossible. We hope that our current president, P-Noy can push for moral change in the DENR so that corruption will not hinder them from stopping illegal loggers and their trade.

c) Do our share - We can volunteer in the reforestation process. We can sign up with groups dedicated in protecting the environment. The Haribon Foundation can help bring about this change, and through them we can become a lending hand in protecting nature.

Restoring 1 million hectares of forest land is impossible by yourself, but by reaching out and combining all our efforts, someday we will reach this target, and perhaps do even more.

This is my entry to the Haribon Foundation's blog contest on How to Restore 1 Million hectares of forest land. To know more about the contest, you may visit the Haribon Foundation contest page and the Haribon Foundation fan page on Facebook.

To join...
1. Like Haribon’s Fan Page on Facebook!

2. Answer this month’s question through your blog, “How can you help in restoring
1M hectares of Philippine forests?” Note: Answers must be posted on the participants’ BLOG (multiply, blogspot, Facebook notes etc.) and NOT posted directly on Haribon's Fan Page

3. Participant must include the promo details below their answer
4. Link your blog entry to Haribon’s Fan Page
5. The answer with the highest number of ‘like’ votes wins the prize. Two winners will be chosen each month. Winners will be announced on September 15 & 29, October 13 & 27, November 10 & 26.
6. Promo runs from September 1 until November 26, 2010

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