The program, conceptualized and implemented by the SFFI in partnership with the DENR, is tailor-fitted on the notion that carbon sequestration should be self-driven to achieve carbon neutrality not only by individuals but moreso by organizations and corporations noting their respective carbon emission rate. Participants therefore will have the opportunity to design and determine their respective tree-planting activity/ies based on their carbon emission (as approximated by SFFI) within DENR- or government-assigned areas.
This program espouses the belief that “caring for the planet is caring for mankind”. With simple ways and shared means, we can make the world a better place to live in.
In the recent years, we’ve come to learn of the two degrees (2°) Celsius threshold in global warming that needs addressing to avert the looming catastrophe of climate change. According to CNN (2015), the planet can experience super droughts, rising seas, mass extinctions and acidifying oceans beyond that mark… situations that could lead to ELEs or extinction level events.
With this in mind, the Society of Filipino Foresters, Inc. (SFFI) has been thinking of ways to contribute in taming this “creature” called climate change. Reckoning from the Philippines’ commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) held from November 30 to December 11, 2015 in Paris, France, the country has set its Intended Nationally-Determined Contribution to carbon emission reduction at 70%.
Based on the research conducted by Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, United States, the Philippines (in 2011) with 0.9 metric tons (MT) of carbon dioxide emission per capita, ranks 141st worldwide. Ranked 1st is Qatar with 44 MT, followed closely by its neighbors in the Middle East while the US is ranked 11th with 17 MT.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), meanwhile, officially reported that as of 2010, the country’s population is already 92.34 million with annual average growth of 2.0% from 2000 to 2010. Using the said data, we can assume that the Philippines now has an approximate population of 103 million.
Based on http://shrinkthatfootprint.com covering carbon emission may be attributed to travel, housing, food, product and services footprint. Hence, considering these and the statistics cited by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center and the PSA, it can be assumed that the country has an annual carbon emission of 92.7 million metric tons.
A research conducted by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), the research arm of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), reports that planting Falcata (Paraserianthes falcataria) can sequester 15.34 kilograms of carbon annually. Therefore, an annual carbon emission of 0.9 metric tons requires a person to plant and maintain 59 trees throughout his/her lifetime. On the other hand, Bagras (Eucalyptus deglupta), Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), Mangium (Acacia mangium), and Yemane (Gmelina arborea) has a predicted annual carbon sequestration capacity of 4.84, 4.15, 10.55 and 4.22 kilograms respectively. Using the median (or average) plus contingency for mortality, it is safe to assume that planting 100 trees would render a person as “carbon neutral”.
The SFFI, with reference to the aforementioned information, recognizes that while ambitious, there is an urgent need to offset human carbon emissions not only to save the planet, but moreso to save mankind. Being carbon neutral is a responsibility we all have to safeguard our future generations. carbon neutral program forestry
The SFFI, involving all member professsional foresters in the country, shall act as the over-all implementer of the Program in partnership with the DENR, and will partner with various public, private and community organizations in the development, implementation, monitoring, and management of their respective Carbon Neutral Program sites. Hence, Program implementation shall take on the following steps:
Proposed areas are those that are already covered by existing tenurial instruments such as Forest Reservations, Watershed Reservations, National Parks, CBFMA and other government-administered areas that are accessible and have existing area monitoring and protection mechanisms.
Identified sites are then surveyed, mapped and designed with a plan fitting its approved land-use. Partners will then have an option to choose which area they would wish to develop according to their agreed intervention/s.
Whenever possible, all sites must have an accessible seedling nursery facility to enable timely and sufficient supply of planting stocks.
Within the bounds of assigned sites, the SFFI will coordinate with DENR and participants on the details of partnership such as date/s, logistical arrangements and sponsorship fees and other attendant information. The agreed site will be pre-marked in favor of the participants/sponsors to enable proper identification and upkeep.
Actual planting will be extra challenging since all participants will be required to follow the required specifications in any particular site to achieve the desired results.
Meanwhile, seedling requirement, may be outsourced from eligible and competent organizations, to ensure good quality of seedlings that will be utilized. When possible, the first option will be to partner with any DENR office who has existing facility/ies and machinery/ies.
Soon after the completion of the participants’ tree planting target of 100 trees, they will then be issued with certifications on carbon neutrality signed by the SFFI and the DENR together with tokens (such as t-shirts) that may be provided from time to time. Note that all planted trees will be geo-tagged and said information shall be inscribed in certificates to be issued. Meanwhile, printed t-shirts that will be given to participants will serve as token and/or proof for having planted the required number of trees.
Participants are free to visit accomplished sites during the nursing period to check survival of planted trees or undertake replanting activities but must coordinate first with the site’s administrator (DENR, LGU, GOCC, etc.).
Fully planted trees/sites, will be marked, whenever possible under the name of the participants to enable easy labelling.
1. DENR - offered sites, i.e., National Parks, Forest/Watershed Reservations, etc.;
2. National Power Corporation (NPC) - administered sites for better access and support;
3. Community - based forest management agreement (CBFMA) – tenured sites with existing active community organization; and/or
4. Government - managed tourism areas.
The 17 SFFI Regional Presidents and members of the Executive Committee, led by the National Council President Tommy T. Valdez, will be launching this Program during the Environment Day on June 05, 2016 in Iloilo City together with the SFFI Western Visayas Regional Council headed by its President Forester Livino B. Duran, and DENR Region VI headed by Regional Director Jim O. Sampulna, and a corporate partner that will provide the needed support. The corporate partner’s carbon emission will be calculated and shall serve as basis in determining the seedling and planting requirements.
The 16 other SFFI Regional Councils, involving all member profesional foresters in the country will replicate the said activity in selected sites within their regions during the month of June 2016. The month of June is considered as the “Philippine Environment Month” by virtue of Proclamation Order No. 237 issued in 1988.
Fund-generation activities for the program may be done through (a) income-generating projects conducted both at the National, Regional and Provincial levels; (b) sponsorship from stakeholders; (c) crowd-funding; and (d) Company-led and funded tree planting.
Whenever possible, media coverage and exposures will be made to promote the Program and achieve meaningful public-private-community partnership (PPCP).