Mayor Benjamin Magalong is encouraging groups to undertake tree-farming or the planting and rearing of tree seeds on vacant private and public lots in lieu of conducting tree-planting in forest reservations to ensure high survival rate of the seedlings planted.
“I am now discouraging the planting of tree seedlings in watersheds and protected areas because of the low survival rate of the seedlings and instead let us build tree farms in vacant lots where we can nurture seedlings for two to three years before replanting them into our forest reservations,” the mayor announced Oct. 7.
“This way, the seedlings will have higher survival capacity and therefore would make our reforestation program more effective,” he added.
He called on private individuals who have idle lots that they do not plan to use for the next two to three years to volunteer their properties to the city government for conversion into tree farms and nurseries.
“This is for the love of the environment and for the love of Baguio,” he said.
Interested individuals may contact the City Mayor’s Office at 442-8920 or the City Environment and Parks Management Office at 443-3511 or 300-6535.
The mayor earlier directed the Cepmo to develop available lots into farms to tend tree seedlings of different endemic species.
Two lots are now being planned for development into botanical rearing facilities located at the Tiptop Ambuclao Road and another at Irisan.
The city’s two tree nurseries located at Busol watershed and the Botanical-Centennial Park are also programmed for upgrading into modern propagation facilities soon.
The mayor said plans are also afoot to saturate appropriate areas like Quezon Hill with bamboo nurseries.
“Bamboos have been found to have carbon dioxide sequestration capacity three times higher than any adult tree so we should also delve on bamboo propagation,” the mayor said. – Aileen P. Refuerzo