Tree planting to offset carbon emission
SAN MANUEL, Pangasinan—To make up for carbon dioxide that continues to choke the atmosphere, volunteers planted trees at the San Roque Dam watershed on Friday during the Pangasinan leg of the carbon neutral initiative launched in Iloilo province on June 5.
Tom Valdez, president of Society of Filipino Foresters Inc. (SFFI), led the program here, saying every Filipino was emitting carbon dioxide equivalent to about 0.9 metric tons, citing a 2011 study conducted by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center of the Tennessee Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States.
“To offset that, it will take each [Filipino] to plant 100 trees in his lifetime to cover his own carbon footprint and become carbon neutral. This is why we [staged the] carbon neutral program,” he said.
With the Philippine population rising to 103 million, its annual carbon emission has also increased to 92.7 million MT, Valdez said.
The Philippines promised to reduce carbon emission to 70 percent at the 21st Conference of Parties assembled by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris last year.
“With this in mind, the SFFI has thought of ways to tame this creature called climate change. Even if only half of our population will participate, it will already mean a big carbon emission reduction,” Valdez said.
Trees have carbon absorption capacities ranging from 4.15 to 15.34 kilograms.
“We are going to plant indigenous species such as narra, duhat, which is good for the birds, and banaba and molave, which grow well in stony areas,” Valdez said.
The San Roque Dam watershed still has some 2,000 hectares which can be planted with trees, he said. “By planting trees, we will also be able to preserve biodiversity and protect the forest for the watershed.”
Pearlie Lim, a bank manager, said she joined the activity after learning that she could help reduce global warming by planting trees. “We need more trees to supply the oxygen needs of the people and to neutralize carbon dioxide in the environment,” she said.
SFFI intends to replicate the activity nationwide this month and in July. Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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