Planting Trees In The Philippines
Why We’re Planting Trees for the Seas
What other underwater animals need these trees to survive? Did you know that the exact same trees can stop whole countries from sinking? And which tree is the most effective in fighting climate change anyway?
The answer’s pretty groovy. Tagalong to find out everything you need to know about planting trees Filipino style.
Where Are We Tree Planting In The Philippines?
Let’s start with the fundamentals of this wonderful island nation.
The Republic of The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, of which only 2,000 or so are inhabited. Located in the western Pacific Ocean, more than 100 million people call The Philippines home (giving it a population density of roughly 370 per square kilometer – pretty much the same as Belgium).
It’s a popular tourism destination – and it’s easy to see why. Dramatic limestone cliffs, clear blue waters (with gorgeous marine life), diverse hiking trails, and white-sand beaches give these tropical islands a truly unique makeup.
However, according to the UN Human Development Index, The Philippines ranks a lowly 106. Germany, in comparison, takes Rank 5. Outside the modern metropolis of Manila, many smaller settlements and communities are still in need of stable, dependable, and secure income. Even in the supercity of Manila, a stable income isn’t guaranteed.
Especially since the Philippines is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, leaving it particularly prone to earthquakes and typhoons each year.
Our Tree Planting Location
Our tree planting in The Philippines takes place on Mindanao Island, the second biggest in the country. To give that some context, Mindanao is just slightly larger than the European nation of Portugal, or the US state of Indiana.
But naturally, you want to know exactly where we’re planting trees in the Philippines.
That’ll be in Balete Bay, near Sleeping Dinosaur Island¹. Sounds exotic, right? Like much of the Philippines, it’s naturally green. In years to come, there’s going to be even more greenery and wildlife as a result of tree-planting.
Have we convinced you already? Then get to it and plant mangrove tree now! If, however, you need a little more persuading, then you’re in the right place.
Why Are We Planting Trees In The Philippines?
Our Tree Planting Mission
This one’s simple: the Philippines is one of the most deforested countries in the tropics. Eye-watering amounts of deforestation has taken place, and something has to be done to reverse it.
As a result of deforestation, there are mounting issues with soil erosion, crop quality, landslides, and watershed management.
Trees are removed to improve beach quality and to build tourism-focused resorts. But trees are also removed because they’re incompatible with the many shrimp farms in operation (harmful chemicals are used in the farm waters). Swamps are drained as well, meaning that mangrove trees are removed to create space for human settlement.
All of this has an impact on human life. But the good news is that planting trees can help repair all of it!
Tree planting in the Philippines – with your help – restores native tree species. Those trees store huge amounts of carbon (more on that later), provide dependable work, and support all kinds of healthy ecosystems.
As always, when we plant trees we don’t use volunteers. We employ local people and reward their hard work with a fair salary. They can re-invest their earnings locally and skills are developed within the community for the long term.
Why Trees For The Seas?
Reforestation in the Philippines is hugely important for wildlife as well.
For example, there are more than a hundred mammals and over 170 bird species in the Philippines that aren’t found anywhere else in the world. Isn’t that worth protecting?
But there’s a rich and diverse marine life too, and we need to do everything we can to plant trees for the seas and help protect the future of Filipino marine life.
We do that by planting mangrove trees. Mangrove trees bring all kinds of benefits, but you might be surprised to discover just how much marine life depends on them.
Mangrove tree roots grow underwater and create a labyrinth of roots and branches. This complex, tangled area creates a safe space for life underwater including many types of fish, crab, shrimp, and other crustaceans.
The water surrounding the roots is rich in nutrients and it’s safe for juvenile life. Milkfish and prawns, for instance, spend their nursery life here, protected from predators.
Related Article: 15 Good Things That Happened in 2020 – A Click A Tree Year in Review
What Trees Are We Planting In The Philippines?
Enough teasing! Now it’s time to tell you all about mangrove trees and why we’re reforesting the Philippines with them.
In our article about the different ways that organizations plant trees, we tell you about the differences between planting monocultures and planting diverse forests that best represent nature.
Our tree planting in the Philippines aims to build a natural forest that has the best chance of survival. To do that, we plant trees that are suited to the wet, green, humid, and coastal area – mangrove trees.
Mangrove tree planting in the Philippines means that the whole ecosystem benefits. They are native to the country, and they support a huge ecosystem all around them.
But it gets better and better.
Why Mangrove Trees are Great
Our mangrove trees have an incredible survival rate of 93%. This is amazing! It makes for a super-efficient system where we can plant as many trees as possible and watch them thrive.
And they could thrive for up to 120 years. Mangrove trees use ‘natural rejuvenation’, meaning that one tree planted today is worth multiple trees in 20 years’ time.
If we do it right, forests of mangrove trees will prosper long beyond our lifetime.
Since we can also plant 8,000 mangrove trees per hectare, they’re the perfect tree to plant in the Philippines.
It’s also really convenient that mangrove trees are some of the most valuable carbon sequesters on our planet.
We’ve kept our calculations conservative. But the average mangrove tree absorbs roughly 300kg of CO2 over 25 years. Thereafter, they absorb 25kg a year – and that doesn’t even take into calculation all the baby mangrove trees that join the party over the years.
Only a third of the carbon they absorb is stored in the tree itself. The rest is stored in the roots and in the mud between the roots.
Want to see mangrove trees in action? Check out this video to see how mangrove trees protect the coast:
So what are you waiting for? The sooner you plant the best tree possible for tackling climate change, the sooner you get to brag about it to everyone you know. They won’t be able to top that, trust us.
Let’s Reforest As Much Land As We Can
So what have we learnt about Click A Tree’s tree planting in the Philippines?
Creating dependable work and protecting vulnerable Filipino land? Check.
Supporting life on land and underwater? Check.
Storing huge amounts of carbon in an unbelievably efficient tree-planting model? Check!
And to top it all off, we’ve committed to removing 1kg of plastic from the ocean for every mangrove tree we plant, starting when we’ve planted 5,000 trees.
So now it’s up to you to help us turn that vision into a reality.
You’ve helped us support entrepreneurship schools in Ghana and grow habitat for elephants in Thailand. You’ve created work in Nepal and changed lives in Madagascar.
Isn’t it about time you added The Philippines to the growing list of countries you’ve planted trees in?
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Keep up the great work, and we’ll keep on planting trees. Thanks for being awesome.