After the Stairway project of Mt. Apo, the mountaineering community is now being challenged once more to be united and declare our serious condemnation to every form of environmental crimes. Last month, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for permission to cut 651 trees for the road widening project which would convert the 6.7 km two-lane Maharlika Highway into four lanes. The national office of the DPWH plans to start the project next year.
We, thephilippinemountaineering.com appreciate Mr. Arnel Rodriguez of Camarines Sur Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) for issuing memorandum last July 15. This memorandum declares that the cutting of the trees, most over 50 years old, “is not the proper solution to traffic congestion along the proposed project area.” We can hear that the people of PENRO are doing their task of conserving and preserving the natural resources of the nation than the people from the DENR. The environmentalists from PENRO are doing their task to preserve and conserve the group of trees with more than 50 years of age with estimated worth of more than 42, 000 board feet of good hardwood.
The mountaineering community is now being challenged to be the mouthpiece, speakers and messengers for the 651 trees. Let us have one language, one voice for this treasure of Naga City. The local government of Naga City, PENRO- CENRO and the populace of Naga City are in need of our voice to shout for the 651 trees.
Let us be reminded of the benefits of having tress within the City or Urban place:
- Reduce storm water run off
- Improve water quality
- Help to reduce, and even eliminate, erosion
- Provide shelter for the wildlife
- Promote biodiversity
- Extenuate flooding
- Improve air quality by mitigating air pollution
- Trees help to reduce noise pollution by absorbing and blocking noise
- Serves as windbreaker against strong winds
- Greenhouse gas reduction
Trees are very important in providing environmental services that directly improves our health and its quality. The 651 tress are tested by more or less 50 years of existence, they are part of Naga City's history. Providing protection for these trees will make the trees free from any imminent plan of cutting.
The Manila-based SAVE 651 Movement scheduled August 17, 2013 as day of "protest walk." Mountaineers, environmentalists, conservationists and all stakeholders are encouraged to be part of this historic event. The walk will start at St. Peter's Parish near Convergys (Commonwealth) at 1:00pm towards Quezon City Memorial Circle. The organizers will also accept any form of help/ cooperation, kindly call or text EI GarBau at +639163129911.
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