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Globe, Hineleban Foundation lead advocacy to replenish remaining 1.5% primary rainforests in Philippines

The Philippines is blessed with natural resources the rest of the world could only marvel at. Our flora and fauna could be seen anywhere, under our pristine seas, among the highest peaks of our mountains, even deep inside our thick rainforests.

Considered as a melting pot of plant and animal species, the Philippines does not shy away from the various mentions of historians, scientists, and biologists of yore, on how this country of many islands in the South East have been favored with many natural gifts.

National Forest Management Bureau shows that forest cover in the Philippines declined from 21 million hectares, or 70% of its land area in 1900 to about 6.5 million hectares by 2007.If only the same could still be said today. The Philippine rainforests that were once haven for biodiversity in this part of the world, has rapidly declined and suffering a dwindling state. In fact, according to recent numbers, only 1.5% of the Philippine Primary Rainforest cover remains, and majority is located in Mindanao. Data from the

The conversion of forest cover in recent years had been going on in an alarming rate due to the burgeoning growth of agricultural plantations. Then again, poaching of trees in the remaining forests still prevail despite efforts from the government to arrest it.

The monumental loss of our prized natural resource could be attributed to numerous reasons, but the causes have not changed since we first read about it in elementary textbooks.

Years of Kaingin fires due to slash and burn farming had its debilitating impact to our forest lands which according to the Philippine Forestry Statistics from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Forest Management Bureau number 15,805,325 hectares.

Add to that, the rising number of human settlements in forest areas brought about by increasing population have converted lands which are naturally rainforest before.   Rainforests have since then been converted into agricultural lands. 

Then again, the rampant and massive illegal logging activities have prevailed despite efforts from the government to ultimately halt such destructive act.

Despite the almost dead numbers, there is still hope and Filipinos can do something to lend a hand and sustain the 3,270,146 hectares of established forest reserves.

Go paperless. The act of receiving your monthly billing electronically rather than receiving a hard copy is one simple act to help.

Buy sustainable products. Integrating your love for nature into your lifestyle is one way to contribute to the environment while reducing your environmental footprint.

Everyone can do their part. In fact, organizations like leading telecommunications company, Globe Telecom partnered with the Hineleban Foundation in advocating for a sustainable environment through an effective and scientific way to restore our primary rainforests.

Hineleban Foundation is a non-stock, non-profit organization based in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. The group is composed of individuals focused on the restoration of the environment and sustainable livelihood for the Indigineous People of Bukidnon, the Lumads, and the Bangsamoro people of Lanao del Sur, through Transformational Business Partnerships, with the objective of fostering peace through inclusive development. The foundation believes that “rainforestation” of the mountains of Mindanao is the only long-term solution to reducing the effects and risks of climate change and to attaining food self-sufficiency, bringing back three crop cycles per year.

Globe and Hineleban Foundation’s rainforestation efforts went underway in December 2016 and have vamped up this year which now covers 34 hectares of Brazilian, Caribbean Pine trees, along with Almon, Bagtikan, Mayapis, Apitong, Red lauan, Palosapis, White lauan, Nato, and other indigenous tree species. As former Regional Executive Director of DENR Regions 6 and 10, Raoul T. Geollegue explains the choice of tree species in his article The Hineleban Restoration Approach, "Calliandra, Brazilian and Caribbean pine trees introduced here are simply interim in nature, but they serve the twin purpose of providing economic returns and ecological services which hastened forest restoration. When the interim tree species are harvested, what remains is an assemblage of trees with the floristic composition and canopy structure of a tropical rainforest, hence the term rainforestation."

In 2015, Globe also launched its paperless billing campaign to contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal of Life on Land–centered on protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. Today, its customers now have an option to simply receive their monthly billings via email.

In this collective effort, customers can help plant one tree at a time, one tree back into our rainforests. For every P100 donation, you will be able to name your own tree, know its location via GPS and monitor its growth online! To donate, visit http://hineleban.org/donate/.

To know more about Globe and its sustainability efforts visit newsroom.globe.com.ph/sustainability or follow Globe Bridging Communities on Facebook. To Learn more about the Hineleban Foundation and its projects visit http://hineleban.org/.

Topics: Philippines , flora and fauna , National Forest Management Bureau , Philippine Primary Rainforest , Indigineous People of Bukidnon
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