Int’l experts cite reforestation in RP

14 October 2014




Source: Manila Bulletin, the (Philippines)
Source type: Newspaper
Published on: 29 May 2010

The Philippines gained international recognition from some 200 environment leaders and experts from Asia and Europe for serving as one of the pioneers of a low carbon reforestation program during the 2nd Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Development Conference held in Indonesia last week.

 

The Philippines gained international recognition from some 200 environment leaders and experts from Asia and Europe for serving as one of the pioneers of a low carbon reforestation program during the 2nd Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Development Conference held in Indonesia last week.

Climate Change Commission (CCC) representatives to the meeting noted the distinction conveyed by speakers from Cambodia and Europe acknowledging the reforestation programs of the Philippines as part of the mitigation efforts to combat climate change.

Based on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) data, a total of 244,022 hectares were reforested since 2001, or more than three times the size of Singapore.

In 2009, P1.5 billion was allocated for reforestation, the biggest single year allocation from regular budget for forestry. As a result, a total of 50,024 hectares were planted, which generates an estimated 50,024 jobs.

The increase in forest cover is expected to result in the following ecological benefits: Reduced carbon dioxide and methane, which are known greenhouse gases responsible for global warming; reduced flooding through water absorption by more trees, which also leads to increased groundwater and reduced soil erosion; and increased habitat for plant and animal species.

Aside from the Philippines, ASEAN-member countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam are also implementing massive reforestation program.

It was also pointed out during the meeting that efforts of Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam on reforestation serve as “gateways to a low carbon community.”

Prof. Dirk Messner, director of the German Development Institute, also stressed during the conference that “dangerous climate change can be avoided only by low carbon development.”

“If ASEM countries would go for low carbon development, they could transform the global economy,” he added.

“Forest is important in our global fight against climate change because trees capture carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” Commission Vice Chairman Climate Change Secretary Heherson Alvarez had earlier said.

Alvarez was earlier quoted, adding that the atmosphere is now loaded with greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide which causes global warming and climate change.

The two-day conference wrapped up with the signing of the Yogyakarta Declaration, which will serve as an input to the forthcoming ASEM-8 Brussels Summit in Belgium on October 4 to 5.

The declaration recognized the challenges of forest protection, investment in research and development on low carbon technology, training of experts on low-carbon matters, low-carbon growth with positive effects on job creation, awareness education, and urbanization.