KIDAPAWAN CITY — World Vision and its partners in Kidapawan City recently planted 300 lauan seeds in Mt. Apo Protected Area in North Cotabato, south of the Philippines, to support the city’s plan to have 2.5 million trees planted this 2023.
Called Canopy 25, the project is Kidapawan City’s grand mission to commemorate its 25th anniversary and at the same time contribute in reducing climate change through its environmental protection and conservation.
Under Canopy 25, endemic trees, perennial crops (e.g, coffee), and bamboos are planted in forests, watersheds, riparian zones, government properties, and idle/vacant lots.
“Tree planting should not be an activity, but a culture. A culture is passed on to generations,” Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office’s Psalmer Bernalte said to those who joined the activity.
Before the tree planting activity, World Vision had already contributed 500 seedlings to the Kidapawan City government. Of the 500 donated seedlings, 400 are lauan which supports the abaca farmers who are now experiencing the impact of climate change. Good quality abaca trees grow better with more lauan trees or under the shed of a forest. The lesser the trees, the lesser the abaca they can plant, and the lesser their income. Abaca is used to make products such as mats and bags.
Community partners present during the tree planting include Forever Lapan Maligaya Palera Association, Perez ARB Rubber Farmers Association, Philippine Fiber Development Authority.
Agriculture most affected by climate change
World Vision also hold a Climate Change Summit that gathered 400 participants from various sectors to discuss the effects of climate change to agriculture and farmers.
“We are all here today because we believe there’s a big change happening in our climate now and we want to become part of the solution,” said World Vision Operations Manager for Mindanao, Elizabeth Delgado.
A particular topic discussed during the summit was carbon footprints from the agriculture sector. Mindanao, an island south of the Philippines, is one of the country’s largest agriculture contributors, according to Edgar Paalan, Kidapawan City’s Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Engineer. Certain activities in farming produce greenhouse gases.
“Agriculture will be most likely to suffer a decline if no efficient and effective interventions are made in a matter of time. The changes in temperature and rainfall patterns may affect crops. Scorching weather leads to drying out of land resulting to decrease planting areas and lower yield crops. Heavy rainfall, on the other hand, leads to floods that can damage crops. Thus, creating a decline in rice production,” Paalan added.
In 2022, the Philippines is the top eight rice producer in the world, making the country a big source of methane gas from the decomposition of organic soil, rice straws, and husks.
Kidapawan City Mayor Jose Paolo Evangelista also reminded everyone of the importance of waste management, as well. “We keep crying for change but even in our homes, we cannot change our way to dispose of waste properly. Change starts in us, in our homes. It is the basic act we can do to succeed,” he said.
To mitigate the effect of climate change, the Summit participants signed a commitment on a canvas drawn by artists John Paul “Toti” Alave and Dan Mindo. Participants put their thumb marks on the canvas.
Article by: Roxanne Angelika S Dela Cruz | Field and Emergency Communications Specialist, World Vision