DENR, DepEd link up for tree planting in schools

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DENR, DepEd link up for tree planting in schools

Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) – February 11, 2019 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will partner with the Department of Education (DepEd) for a project to promote planting of native trees in public schools nationwide.

The School in a Garden Project (SIGA) aims to teach children about the importance of trees and forests, and help them become an environmentally conscious generation, DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones said.

“We hope that through the SIGA program, we are able to instill in young minds how significant forests are to their lives, so that the heritage of environmental conservation continues,” he said.

Leones said the DENR and DepEd are set to sign a memorandum of agreement to formalize their partnership.

The SIGA program is a revival of a past DepEd project that enabled students to plant medium-sized flowering trees similar to the concept of cherry blossoms in Japan, according to the DENR.

It aims to showcase trees that are endemic to the Philippines, such as banaba and fire trees, which are colorful and flowering all year round.

DepEd Undersecretary Alain Pascua said these colorful trees would be planted not only within school campuses but also in neighboring areas.

Also to be planted in school premises are heritage trees, which are typically individual large trees with unique value and considered irreplaceable because of their designation such as age, rarity and size, and historical value, the DENR said.

The DENR earlier agreed to provide planting materials, training and technical expertise to the DepEd to ensure the success of the undertaking.

“DENR can provide the saplings. We can also involve the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau to include native species. Our timeline for these convergence activities should be done as quickly as possible,” Leones said.