The Cordillera Administrative Region was surrounded by vast, misty, and mossy forests. However, the increase in population and households as well as private companies’ expansion of operations has greatly affected the region’s forest cover. Consequently, it has compromised air quality and water resources in CAR which serve as a watershed hub of the entire Luzon. 

As aligned to the objectives of the National Greening program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Science and Technology - Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) has adopted a communal forest in Shilan, La Trinidad, Benguet to help revive its mossy and natural freshness as well as to do its part in rejuvenating the environment.

Last year, a two (2) hectare communal forest overlooking the whole La Trinidad Valley was planted with 150 Callandra and Pine Trees. Coffee seedlings were also planted to make it more beneficial to the community, since coffee production is among the existing industries in CAR over the decades.

‘Til the last leaf survives

Tree planting may be a common activity, but it is also a long-term commitment to the environment and society. It cannot end by merely digging the soil and burying the roots, rather it is continuous until the seedlings have grown into trees, bearing their own fruits and cherries.

The DOST-CAR staff, together with a representative from the DENR-CAR, Forester Jonard Dio-as, conducted the monitoring and weeding in its adopted communal forest on March 13, 2020. This is to ensure that the seedlings planted are surviving. 

With this, it was noted that 90% of the seedlings have survived and expected to be more robust come rainy season. Mr. Dio-as further recommends that planting activity will be done during rainy season to save the seedlings from drought.

As the DOST-CAR planned to adopt more communal forests and plant more trees this year, it will continue to monitor its area in Shilan to ensure that the seedlings will survive.//FAA