Sunday, July 27, 2014

Reforesting The Mountains Of Naguey And Pasdong In Atok, Benguet

If you are to pass through the stretch of the Halsema Highway that runs within Benguet, it's hard not to notice the hills and mountains that have been stripped of their forest covers. The creation of these open and treeless spaces were due to various reasons the most noticeable of which is the clearing of forest covers for vegetable gardens.

This is not to say that creating farms out of previously forested hills and mountains is a bad thing. After all, the main source of income in the province is agriculture. Putting a death sentence to farming mountains would be tantamount to putting thousands of people out of jobs. However, there should be a balance between farming and preserving the environment. It's about time that people learn the value of protecting the natural resources that they have.

Among those in the forefront of preserving and conserving the mountains in the Cordillera region is the Cordillera Conservation Trust (CCT). An organization headed by JP Alipio, CCT helps in building forests and sustainable communities. Last July 26 and 27, CCT spearheaded forest building activities in Pasdong and Naguey in the municipality of Atok in Benguet. Below is a video featuring footage from said forest building activities.
CCT will be conducting more forest building activities in the coming months. They'll be going to Tinoc, Ifugao on August 15-17 and to Tacadang, Kibungan on September 19-21. They will also be conducting roots and shoots trainings. These trainings are scheduled for September 27-28 and October 4-5 in Kabayan, Benguet and Bokod, Benguet respectively.

CCT was also behind the forest building activities done last July 15 in Mt. Cabuyao in Santo Tomas, Tuba. Dubbed #reforestthereoad, pine tree and coffee seedlings were planted in a stretch of land destroyed by a road project. Baguio City Congressman Nicasio Aliping Jr. has been tagged as the one behind the road project. The solon however has been denying any involvement in the road project.