COTABATO CITY—Around 11.5 million tree seedlings have been planted on 10,401 hectares of land across Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) according to Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MENRE).
Forester Abdul-Jalil Umngan, director of Forest Management Services, said that reforestation activity is one of the environmental interventions to minimize the effects of natural calamities and reduce climate change.
“There are no immediate interventions on how to address climate change, except for reforestation, and when you say reforestation, we have to plant and restore the cut trees,” Umngan said.
The planted seedlings cover both plantation species and indigenous species for denuded areas in the forestland of the BARMM region. This includes the trees of mahogany, falcata, durian, coffee, bamboo, and selected fruit-bearing trees.
“The impact of climate change knocks on our doors already and there is no quick solution to lessen the floods aside from reforestation. That is why, we encourage people to support environmental advocacies for the current and future generations,” he added.
Director Umngan also pointed out the essence and positive impact of reforestation to ensure that future generations will have more abundant forests than we enjoy today.
He said the initiative will not only enhance climate change mitigation but reduce poverty and promote food security.
Aside from promoting and sustaining the environment and natural resources, MENRE gives opportunity to former Moro Islamic Liberation Front – Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (MILF-BIAF) combatants for livelihood and generating income activities.
“We have the flagship Integrated Bangsamoro Greening Program, kaakibat niyan ay ang ‘Kayod ka, Bangsamoro’ or KKB. We hired the MILF-BIAF combatants to be part of the reforestation effort, sila ay ating mga katuwang sa pagsugpo ng anti-illegal logging and helping us in monitoring and maintaining the planted species seedlings across the region,” Umngan shared.
Umngan said KKB is also a big help for Palaw Rangers [forest guards] who are former MILF-BIAF combatants because aside from planting and monitoring to prevent illegal logging, they also have a survival gardening program to sustain food security. (Johaira Sahidala/BIO)