Benguet parents help save Cordillera forests

By KC Santos

LA TRINIDAD, BENGUET—As a mother, Benguet native Jemaima Eduardo believes her role is not limited to sending her children to school.

Jemaima was among the group of mothers who recently volunteered in the Roots and Shoots nursery building program, sponsored by Globe Telecom and held at the Bineng Elementary School here last July 21.

The entire event had volunteers build a seedling nursery. This is the second of 20 seedling nurseries Globe eyes to build in Benguet province as part of its “iConserve” environment program.

The participants include composed student leaders and volunteers from various universities in Baguio, teachers and students of Bineng Elementary School. Along with the students are their parents.

Partnering with Benguet-based non-government organization Cordillera Conservation Trust (CCT), the program aims to address deforestation problems prevalent in the Cordillera Mountains.

“Though part of our traditional way of living, the rampant kaingin method has become one of the main reasons for the deforestation of our rain forests,” says Jemaima.

“I’m thankful that these programs are being brought here to encourage our involvement and our children to be more concerned with the environment.”

Acknowledged as the “watershed cradle of Northern Philippines,” the Cordillera region is Northern Luzon’s major source of water used for irrigation, domestic, and hydroelectric power.

Rainforest preservation is vital not only for locals like Jemaima but also to those residing in other northern provinces like Ilocos, Cagayan, Pangasinan and Nueva Vizcaya and the Cagayan Valley.

Jemaima is one with her fellow mother-volunteers in promoting community involvement in projects that directly benefit their children.

“It may not be a threat now but if we don’t take advantage and cooperate in these kinds of projects, there might no longer be a source for any of us,” she says.

Despite the incessant downpour and slippery terrain leading to the nursery, the volunteers successfully planted a total of 2,000 seedlings for the one-day activity.

Succeeding nursery building activities will be held at the Lower Wangal Elementary School andLubas Elementary School, both in La Trinidad, and at the Kabayan Barrio Elementary School and Tublay Central Elementary School, both located in the town of Tublay.

More details about the Globe BRIDGECOM-CCT can be found on this Facebook page.

***

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