What does it take to build a nation? There are many possible ways, and one of them is helping the environment become sustainable and healthier in the future by planting more trees. If every Filipino plants one tree a year, we can be shielded from calamities while having more than enough supply to meet the demands of our forest industry.
Planting trees act as life support for ecosystems. Forests are known as the lungs of our planet. These absorb more carbon dioxide and other potentially harmful gasses, including sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide, from the air and release oxygen. Aside from this, it also provides habitat and food for animals ensuring the diversity of flora and fauna on our planet.
Trees serve as shields against calamities. Planting more trees, especially in the rural and upland areas of the country, helps minimize the impact of natural disasters, reduce landslides, keeps the ground fertile, and slows down mudflows. These trees can also absorb rain on the mountain slopes, preventing casualties during dangerous typhoons.
We can increase biodiversity by planting one tree at a time. Making the Philippines greener is a collective effort that needs to be undertaken by both the government and by the citizens. In 2016, according to then Forest Management Bureau (FMB) Director and now Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Assistant Secretary Ricardo Calderon, having a sense of group and individual volunteerism with the support of the private sector can contribute to the success of the Bureau’s ongoing reforestation program. Moreover, pushing for bills such as the Sustainable Forest Management Act and joining causes that advocate tree planting can secure natural sustainability for all life forms.
Production of responsibly sourced wood contributes to the country’s economic growth. Aside from making a more sustainable Philippines, trees can also help propel our economy forward. From the development of plantations to the harvest of mature trees, the entire process requires manpower, which will then create jobs and provide more stable and dependable income sources. It will also produce raw materials needed for furniture and building infrastructures that will last, therefore making way for business opportunities locally and internationally.
One of the organizations pushing for sustainable forest management is the Philippine Wood Producers Association (PWPA). They believe that by ensuring that there is a balance between the needs of the people and the viability of the forests, a more prosperous and sustainable future for the entire country can be achieved. They continuously promote wood, which when harnessed sustainably, can be an important driver for growth and development for many communities, and by extension for the entire economy as well.
“Trees really play a vital role in ensuring the well-being of our country.” PWPA Chairman Charlie H. Liu said. “We believe that by taking care of trees and our forest we can ensure that countless generations of Filipinos can still enjoy the blessings of mother nature. We also know that if we take care of our forests, it can help countless Filipinos who depend on the forestry sector and in wood production as their primary source of livelihood.”