Friday, September 30, 2011

PBSP to continue to replant trees

PBSP to continue to replant trees
By Candeze R. Mongaya
Cebu Daily News
September 30, 2011

Despite the destruction of five hectares in barangay Sudlon by illegal tree-cutters, a foundation said it would double efforts to replant the area.

“While this illegal logging incident in barangay Sudlon is a setback to our reforestation efforts… such incidents strengthen our resolve to continue environnmental conservation projects in the Cental Cebu Protected Landscape (CCPL) and other critically denuded protected watersheds in the country,” said the Philippine Business of Social Progress (PBSP)- Visayas in a statement.

The area was found ravaged by settlers, who had cut down trees to burn the wood and make charcoal.

Two men were arrested last Sunday and face charges to be filed by the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7.

Four hectares were reforested by the PBSP through its member companies and volunteers. One hectare was tended by the Keep Foundation.

The PBSP leads an annual reforestation caravan in the hillylands of Central Cebu, drawing thousands of volunteers in planting indigenous tree seedlings during the rainy season.

The statement, issued by Jose Antonio Aboitiz, chairman of the PBSP Visayas Executive Committee, assured donors, partners and supporters of continued efforts to regreen the area and meet its target of planting 2 milion trees in 1,000 hectares by 2014.

Last Sunday, illegal loggers in sitio Kabingtan, barangay Sudlon Cebu City cut around 600 indigenous trees and cleared about five hectares.

DENR-7 caught two men in the act of burning the trees for charcoal. The lot claimant, Richard Ubod, eluded arrest. Over the past two decades, PBSP with public and private partners has been engaged in efforts to green the CCPL to help sustain Metro Cebu’s water supply, combat climate change and promote biodiversity.

“ We are working with the DENR and our partners in the NGO community to appropriately respond to the logging issue in Sudlon and ensure that similar incidents are avoided in the future,” the statement said.

The CCPL covers five watersheds of the Buhisan Dam, Mananga Watershed Forest Reserve, Kotkot-Lusuran Watershed Forest Reserve and the Sudlon National Park.

The PBSP has programs to engage local communities in sustainable livelihood like raising seedlings instead of cutting down trees for charcoal.