TREES FOR LIFE: 20 M SEEDLINGS FOR PLANTING

A Joint Project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Green Army

The Trees for Life: 20 million Seedlings for Planting project was launched on June 5, 2007, World Environment Day, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines by its joint proponents, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Green Army Philippines Foundation. Its object is to initiate a massive reforestation of denuded watersheds and logged-over areas all over the Philippines by planting 20 million tree seedlings between July and November of this year.

The Trees for Life: 20 million Seedlings for Planting project is a follow up to last year’s Green Philippines Highways project – also a joint project of the DENR and the Green Army – that saw the simultaneous planting of over 800,000 trees along 4,181 kilometers of Philippine highways from Aparri to Jolo, involving some 800,000 volunteers. That project, by the way, earned a Guinness Book of World Records citation for the most trees planted at one time. The Trees for Life project, like the Green Philippines Highways project, was conceived jointly with Secretary Angelo Reyes of the DENR.

The Trees for Life: 20 million Seedlings for Planting project will require a massive cooperative effort involving communities, environmentalist groups, civil society groups, religious groups, academic groups, the youth, and the business sector working side-by-side with the DENR’s regional, provincial, and municipal environmental officers.

The launch on World Environment Day of this Trees for Life project on the grounds of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, symbolically the repository of the Filipino heritage, is intended to call the attention of all Filipinos to the pressing need not only to preserve but to restore a natural habitat which has been irresponsibly and incalculably damaged, almost beyond repair. By juxtaposing newly-grown seedlings on artist Junyee’s beautiful piece of installation art entitled No leaf, no life, artist Odette Alcantara of the Green Army has transformed it into one that announces “No leaf, no life; new leaf, new life”. Accordingly, for this project, this will be the Green Army’s battle cry: No leaf, no life! New leaf, new life!

For the Trees for Life project, the Green Army is now issuing a call for 20 million volunteers to plant 20 million trees.

To participate, volunteers may register by sending the following text message from their cellphones to 5777 for both Smart and Globe users:

GREEN(space)REG(space)firstname(slash)middleinitial(slash)lastname.

(An example of this is: GREEN reg Juan/C/De la Cruz.)

They may also log on to the Green Army’s website (www.greenarmynetwork.net) and click on ‘Register’ on the left side of the menu.

To spell out their working arrangements, a Memorandum of Agreement between the DENR, represented by Secretary Angelo Reyes, and the Green Army, represented by its President, Mr. Edgar Chua, and its Secretary-General, Dr. Rene Azurin, has been signed.

The Green Army Philippines Network Foundation Inc. is a multi-sectoral coalition of environmentalist groups, civil society groups, religious groups, youth groups, business groups, and academics. It invites all citizens concerned about the environment and wanting to be involved in helping protect and preserve it to join the organization.