March 26, 2014 – Students and faculty members of Suawan High School gear up for the 1-hour simultaneous tree planting aiming to be part of the six Regions throughout Mindanao to plant 4.6 million trees and break India’s title in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The event took place in Sitio Unapan, Barangay Suawan, Marilog District Davao City. Various groups joined this momentous endeavor. Students from Davao Christian College (DCC), University of Mindanao (UM), SHS and those from government agencies such as DPWH, DOH including SSS & Jollibee (private sectors) held hands to save our planet most specifically reforest the select areas identified by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which spearheaded the activity.
Many of the participants were first-timers in the area and hiked approximately seven (7) kilometers from the highway to the planting site. Teachers of SHS were assigned as Stewards during the event and each planter is expected to plant twenty (20) seedlings (various kinds) in designated places.
“Being one of the stewards guiding fifty six (56) participants, I saw their eagerness and willingness to plant the trees. Even though they had to walk another 1.5 kilometers to reach the planting site, I have not heard any complain from them and I thought it meant that they really want to save our forest not just for them but for the future generations to come. I felt to proud and happy at that instant.” shared Donald Jake Lopez, a teacher of SHS.
No matter how the government designs projects to ease flooding in the metropolitan area and not address the issues in the uplands, there shall be no long-term solution for the probable environmental disasters that may affect the city. Massive tree planting activities like the TreeVolution organized by the DENR, and other similar programs like the National Greening Program must be implemented to control if not avoid future environmental risks. Close monitoring and constant evaluation of the program must also be taken seriously as to prevent failure.
There is a lot to be done to help nature achieve its balance. With the depletion of ozone, massive release of CO2 in the atmosphere, and excessive logging are but a few of the things we must stop for mother earth to recover.
The participants may have shared a bit of their time but hopefully, if well cared, the millions of trees planted shall soon fully grow and make this country far more livable and safe. May that not be the last but will be the beginning of more tree planting activities. Getting the award or not, let us act now, and do it fast before it will be too late.