PANGASINAN — The Green Canopy Project, an initiative led by the provincial government of Pangasinan, has successfully planted 149,964 seedlings across the region from February 1 to December 31, 2023, in a bid to combat deforestation and land degradation.
According to Philippines News Agency, Cooperative and Livelihood Development Office, the project, which aims to plant one million trees and mangroves within three years, is designed to address environmental concerns such as flash floods, soil erosion, and the extreme heat index experienced in Pangasinan, especially during the dry season. In 2022, the region recorded temperatures as high as 55 degrees Celsius.
The initiative saw 98 tree planting activities conducted over the 11-month period, focusing on the restoration of denuded mountains and dry lands through volunteer efforts. A significant portion of the seedlings planted were mangroves in coastal areas, alongside a variety of fruit-bearing trees including tamarind, atis, coffee, jackfruit, avocado, and coconut, as well as bamboo.
Col. Paterno Orduña (ret.), the project manager of the provincial eco-park project in Bugallon slated to open in 2025, highlighted the planting of approximately 8,000 seedlings on a 20-hectare property in the town. Orduña emphasized the project's goal of extending greenery across the entire province, including educational institutions, to foster a widespread culture of environmental preservation. He expressed a particular interest in making the eco-park appealing to all age groups, noting that the youth, as future beneficiaries, play a crucial role in sustaining environmental preservation efforts.
The forthcoming eco-park in Bugallon is set to feature a botanical garden, camping site, picnic grove, and bike trails, enhancing the province's commitment to environmental sustainability and community engagement in conservation efforts.