March 3, 2024

The city government is planning to embark on a 10-year rehabilitation plan targeted in recovering Baguio’s dwindling forest and pine tree cover and to bolster its reputation as the country’s City of Pines.
City Environment and Parks Management Office head Rhenan Diwas announced the plan in his presentation of a tree-planting master plan for 2020-2030 during Monday’s executive-legislative meeting at City Hall.
He said the program is consistent with the city government’s Local Climate Change Action Plan and includes the planting of 200,000 trees in public areas and 50,000 on private lands with the cooperation of residents.
Diwas said that the trees will include Benguet pine, other trees indigenous in the area, acclimatized foreign trees, and fruit trees. 
He added that the city government plans to “reclaim trees we lost to developers.”
Diwas assured that the decade-long urban forest strategy “may be ambitious but it is doable” and is in keeping with one of the city government’s collective core agenda of revitalizing the environment.
He said a more scientific tree planting strategy should be adopted to replace the past practice of continuously planting saplings anywhere and just leaving them afterwards without follow-up monitoring and care.
“The plan seeks to reverse the current trend of decreasing urban forest brought about by incessant real estate developments, reverse the stigma of urban decay, and increase canopy cover and greenery throughout the city,” Diwas said.
Tree planting activities have been suspended until the saplings grown in several Cepmo nurseries are deemed old enough for planting and have greater chances  of survival. – Gaby Keith