Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tree growing in Tabunan

Tree growing in Tabunan
Cebu Daily News
June 25, 2012

Last Saturday, more than 750 volunteers from 35 companies trekked to sitio Cantipla in barangay Tabunan to plant trees.

The event dubbed Cebu Hillyland Reforestation Caravan of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP)  seeks to mobilize widespread support in regaining the forest landscape of Cebu.

The site of the tree planting event last Saturday is part of the 29,062-hectare Central Cebu Protected Landscape.

Only native or endemic tree species were planted in order to restore the biodiversity in Tabunan.

Greening Cebu’s protected landscape is vital in preserving biodiversity, creating carbon sink and recharging aquifiers.

15,000 trees for Tabunan forest

15,000 trees for Tabunan forest
By Jessa Agua
Cebu Daily News
June 24, 2012

About 15,000 native and endemic tree seedlings  were planted  in slopes of sitio Cantipla 2 in barangay Tabunan, Cebu City yesterday, the start of a series of   Saturday planting sessions by volunteers of the  Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

The kick-off of  PBSP’s annual Cebu Hillylands Reforestation Caravan was participated in by 750 volunteers from 35 companies.

The site is part of the  29,062-hectare Central Cebu Protected Landscape (CCPL).

Employees from member companies will continue to take turns planting  in different parts of  Tabunan every Saturday until October 27 to maximize the rainy reason.

Doing so is an investment in the future, said Cebu Daily News publisher Eileen Mangubat,  chairperson of the PBSP Visayas hillyland development committee during a short program.

Trees absorb carbon dioxide  in the air, help recharge the aquifer which is the source of Cebu City’s  drinking water and prevent  soil erosion and flooding, she said.

Partners in the community also maintain the seedlings after the activity to ensure a 90 percent survival rate, she said.

PBSP technical officer Leo Pelletero, who demonstrated the proper way to plant the seedlings,  said PBSP works with the Pung-ol Sibugay Multipurpose Cooperative, Tabunan Forest Warden Farmers Association, Sayaw Farmers Association and KEEP Foundation.

About 10 million trees were planted by PBSP and its partners in the  past two decades, said Reggie Barrientos, PBSP communication officer.

Only  native and endemic tree species are  used in order to promote biodiversity in Tabunan, which is the habitat of the rare Cebu flowerpecker bird and the Black Shama or siloy.

Seedling were distributed for  the Cebu cinammon tree or kaningag which is a critically endangered species, and more common varietes of lawaan, tipolo, molave and narra.

Fr. Monico Catubig led an invocation before the planting and Tabunan barangay captain Lucresia Gabato welcomed the volunteers.

A children’s storytelling session was held under the shade of  trees through the Philippine Daily Inquirer Read Along program while adults trekked and planted seedlings.

Two “green clincis” were held after lunch to extend the educational value of the trip.

Lisa Paguntalan of the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PBCFI) handled a  special pop quiz about biodiversity for participants.

Godfrey Jakosalem led a session on  the basics of  wildlife photography and birdwatching.

Friday, June 22, 2012

IBM marks anniversary with mangrove planting

IBM marks anniversary with mangrove planting
Cebu Daily News
June 21, 2012

As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, IBM Philippines held a mangrove planting in barangay Poblacion, Aloguinsan, southwest Cebu in collaboration with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI).

Last June 16, IBM employees joined the activity that aimed to create a healthier mangrove forest that will boost the town’s main source of livelihood.

Aloguinsan has more than 5,000 households that depend on fishing for a living.

It is said that 75 percent of all tropical fish pass through mangroves, which serve as their nursery grounds, shelter and source of food.

“Planting and maintaining mangrove forests greatly contribute not only in ensuring the balance in our ecosystem and the protection of our natural resources and people. It also helps in bringing back biodiversity, in developing eco-tourism, and sustaining socio-economic development in our country. Thus, community-based initiatives are crucial in the preservation and nurturance of the environment,” RAFI president Roberto E. Aboitiz said.

“On July 20, IBM will mark a diamond milestone – 75 years of operations and service in the Philippines, unmatched in the local technology industry, said Mariels Almeda Winhoffer, president and country general manager of IBM Philippines.

“This year will not simply be a milestone. Rather, it will be an opportunity to heighten IBM’s commitment to the country. We have been in Cebu for five decades now and we will continue to engage in partnership with Cebu to seize the opportunities and the promise of Cebu today and the years beyond,” she added.

IBM and RAFI are committed to work towards a ‘greener’ Cebu.

Last year, IBM Philippines employees and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) Visayas worked on a mangrove reforestration project in Olango Island.

Monday, June 18, 2012

PBSP’s refo caravan is not only tree planting

PBSP’s refo caravan is not only tree planting

“We don’t just plant trees; we let them grow.”

This is the headlining campaign of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) as it launched its 20th run of its annual Cebu Hillylands Reforestation Caravan, an environmental conservation event that engages corporate and individual volunteers to not only plant trees but also help ensure their growth.

The event, also in partnership with the Visayan Electric Company (Veco), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and KEEP Foundation, will kick off on June 23, 2012 at sitio Cantipla 2, barangay Tabunan, Cebu City.

It is set to run for 18 Saturdays until October 20, 2012.

PBSP is the largest corporate-led foundation in the country that leads the promotion and practice of corporate social responsibility.  Since 1991, it has organized annual reforestation caravans with help from companies and other agencies to encourage business sector involvement in restoring Cebu’s aquifers and recovering barren areas of the Cebu Hillylands, also known as the Central Cebu Protected Landscape.

The Cebu Hillylands is a 27,000-hectare lot composed of five watershed and protected areas that span Central Cebu. It is the major source of potable water for Metro Cebu as well as home to various endemic plant and animal species and subspecies.

Through its reforestation efforts, PBSP was able to plant 1 million native and endemic tree seedlings with help from 10,000 volunteers from 2010 to 2011, making it one of the biggest reforestation events of the country.

Aside from being one of the largest and friendliest tree-planting activities organized for volunteers, the event also ensures that every tree seedling planted will have 85% to 96% survival rate.  Every year following its tree planting activities, PBSP partners with community organizations in maintaining PBSP’s reforestation sites for this purpose.

For this year, however, PBSP will focus on reinforcing the participation of some 5,000 volunteers by not only planting seedlings but also by helping its partners in other maintenance activities.

For the next Saturdays following the kickoff , volunteers will also do strip brushing, ring weeding, replanting of damaged tree seedlings, application of vermicompost and staking on some of PBSP’s most recent reforestation plantations.

Kickoff with an academic twist
PBSP’s previous year’s kickoff had the largest delegation to date with 848 volunteers from 43 institutions. During its 2010 kickoff, it got 731 volunteers from 19 companies.

For this year, PBSP hopes to kick off the event with 800 volunteers from at least 20 companies and plant 15,000 seedlings in six hectares.

The kickoff is divided into various segments for volunteers to participate in: the tree planting proper and various breakout sessions that will follow after it.

Volunteers will are encouraged to take part in either of the two environmental education sessions—a mini-lecture on wildlife photography and bird watching by Godfrey Jakosalem, and an Envi Quiz Bowl organized by Lisa Paguntalan.

Both speakers are from the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc., a national non-government organization that promotes conservation of biodiversity in various regions of the country.

Pupils from barangay Tabunan are also invited during the kickoff for a read-along session organized with the Philippine Daily Inquirer to further teach them how to appreciate, conserve and protect the watersheds.

To date, more than 200 volunteers already pledged to join the kickoff on June 23. Assembly for the kickoff event will be at Asiatown IT Park of Cebu City from 6:30 to 7:30 AM.

PBSP is still inviting more volunteers to join the kickoff and the rest of the Saturdays for the caravan. Companies and individuals can also participate in PBSP’s efforts by adopting a hectare for reforestation or by bringing employee volunteers on any scheduled Saturday of the annual caravan.

For more information, interested companies and volunteers may contact Malu Largo of PBSP via telephone at (032) 232-5283 or 232-5270 or via email at mblargo@pbsp.org.ph or pbspvro@pbsp.org.ph.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Teak trees in Buhisan to be pruned

Teak trees in Buhisan to be pruned
By Jessa Agua
June 14, 2012
Cebu Daily News

Pruning of old exotic trees in the Buhisan Watershed Forest Reserve is needed to prevent bush fires, an environment official said.

Protected Area Supervisor Ariel Rica of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) said he is recommending the cropping of teak tree branches after the Philippine Business for Social Progress raised concern over bush fires.

The issue on the recent series of bush fires at the Buhisan Watershed and Forest Reserve particularly in barangay Toong was raised during the PBSP-DENR partners meeting at the Casino EspaƱol.

Around 4.8 hectares of PBSP-maintained plantations were burned in two separate bush fires last April.

Rica’s recommendation however may need the permit from DENR-7 as indiscriminate pruning may damage the trees and may give illegal loggers an excuse to cut trees.

“We cannot do pruning right away. We have to check with the legalities since this was part of our reforestation project in the past where exotic and not native trees were planted,” he explained.

The CCPL covers 29,062 hectares of protected mountain and drainage basin covering Central Cebu National Park, Buhisan Dam, Mananga Watershed Forest Reserve, Kotkot-Lusuran Watershed Forest Reserve, and the Sudlon National Park.

PBSP maintains tree plantations and organizes community in the Buhisan Dam area under the Save the Buhisan Watershed Project to balance sustainable water supply alongside empowering residents while promoting eco-cultural tourism destination.