Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje has commended the record-breaking “TreeVolution: Greening MindaNow” as a big step in restoring Mindanao’s rapidly dwindling forest and fighting climate change.
Paje made the commendation after the Guinness World Records has confirmed Mindanao, through the TreeVolution — a massive tree-planting activity held in various locations in the region in September last year– as the new title holder for the most number of trees planted within an hour.
“More than setting the now-confirmed world record, we will always consider TreeVolution as a big step taken by Mindanao residents themselves in re-greening their landscape to help mitigate climate change and protect themselves against its adverse impacts,” Paje said.
Paje also congratulated the DENR’s partner organizers, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) led by its chairman Lualhati Antonino, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and those who actively participated for the success of the activity.
He noted how in recent years Mindanao had been battered by strong typhoons and huge floods in what could only be attributed to climate change impacts, and said that the sheer number of trees planted under the TreeVolution program, if properly cared for to maturity, would benefit the people of Mindanao and the environment.
Paje cited the sequestration of carbon, which greatly contributes to global warming and climate change; recharging of aquifers; stabilization of the soil; food security; and livelihood creation as some of the benefits the project would bring to surrounding communities.
During the TreeVolution, more than 122,000 participants simultaneously planted 2.29 million seedlings across 29 locations in Mindanao on Sept. 26 last year, surpassing the previous record of 1.9 million trees planted by India in 2011.