Student leaders from seven public elementary schools in Davao City led around 500 graders including their teachers in a tree planting activity dubbed as “TreeVolution of the Young,” that aimed at helping mitigate the impact of climate change.
The officers of the Supreme Pupil Government District Federation of Davao Central District launched the “TreeVolution of the Young” held on September 9, 2015 at Tigatto, Buhangin in Davao City where the pupils planted 2,000 seedlings of mahogany, narra, cacao, jackfruit and other fruit trees.
“Our goal is to contribute, no matter how small, in saving Mother Earth and in making our environment more liveable. Especially because we, the younger generation, will inherit this earth,” stated SPG Federation President Jirojunn Juri Lopoz.
“What we are doing now is to provide a healthful environment for the future generation,” emphasized Lopoz, a Grade 6 pupil leader of Teodoro Palma Gil Elementary School (TPGES), who took the initiative of upholding the care for the environment as a platform and advocacy of the school’s student government.
The “TreeVolution of the Young” planting event gained the interest of President Benigno Aquino III who was personally invited by Lopoz in a visit to Malacañang on June 30 this year.
Though he was not able to personally join the event in the morning of September 9, Pres. Aquino took time in the afternoon to hear the report of Lopoz during the “Visit to the TreeVolution of the Young” at TPGES where the President also answered questions from student leaders which were focused on issues on the environment and K to 12.
The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Department of Education and Department of Environment and Natural Resources jointly supported the tree planting activity.
MinDA Secretary Luwalhati Antonino and Climate Change Commission Secretary Mary Ann Lucille Sering along with Davao City Councilor Leonardo Avila III have heeded the call of the young environmentalists and joined the tree planting activity.
Both Secretaries lauded the initiative of the student leaders and their show of care for the environment.
“I’m so proud of our young people today. They are now aware and conscious of what the environment needs right now. Sila din naman ang makikinabang nito,” Antonino said in an interview during the tree planting event.
“I’m so happy of this initiative of the youth, because I come from Mindanao. What we’re actually doing is preparing for the future,” Sering stated.
She said that planting trees is one of the 15 ways to Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) which CCC is promoting through the “One Million Filipino Youth Voices,” in partnership with the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The “TreeVolution of the Young” gained inspiration from the TreeVolution: Greening MindaNOW, a massive tree planting activity jointly organized by DENR and MinDA in September last year that successfully facilitated the planting of four million trees in six regions in Mindanao.
The event presently holds the Guinness World Record for Most Trees Planted Simultaneously at Multiple Locations, beating the record of India.
“The TreeVolution was a good experience, it benefited a lot people. We’re hoping that it would give birth to more events like this,” DENR-XI regional director Joselin Marcus Fragada said as he lauded the student leaders’ project centered on the protection for the environment.
He said the urban area was given to the grader planters to provide easy access and for them to readily monitor in the future what they have planted at present.
The other elementary schools which participated in the tree planting were Bolton Elementary School, Cesario Villa-Abrille Elementary School, Dona Pilar L. Marfori Elementary School, Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Elementary School, Magallanes Elementary School, and Wireless Elementary School. (PIA-XI/Carina L. Cayon)