Davao City, Philippines, July 11, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- President Benigno S. Aquino III issued Executive Order No. 26 implementing the National Greening Program, an ambitious program to plant 1.5 billion trees during his term as President. Mr. Jonathon Bentley-Stevens, President of Bentley House International, was elected onto the Steering Committee for the Presidents National Greening Program at a function held at the 1002 Brigade Headquarters in Malandag, Sarangani Province yesterday.
Mr. Stevens, who has been undertaking Livelihood and Reforestation projects in Mindanao since 1994, was welcomed onto the committee by Sarangani Board Member Ms. Eleanor Saguigiut. Mr. Stevens is believed to be the only foreigner elected to the Steering Committee.
Following his election Mr. Stevens gave a presentation of the success of the 10 million tree Permaculture project, which has just completed its first year with 6 new nurseries, fully functional with almost 1,000 upland farmers involved in the program. Each nursery will have a capacity of 50,000 seedlings and 30 such nurseries will be constructed during the 6-year project.
Mr. Stevens also presented a digital map created by the Mayors Planning office which showed the GPS location of almost 100 new plantations of trees already planted in Malungon.
The Permaculture project which will include fruit trees and rubber trees, is boosted by a Vegetable Rewards Program which distributes free export quality vegetable seeds to all farmers to intercrop their plantation, once they have completed their planting. The vegetable intercropping eliminates the slash and burn of land clearing between trees, reducing carbon emissions.
The vegetables are grown organically and then sold to upscale supermarkets in Davao City, resulting in a 400% increase in net income to the farmers.
Bentley House International Corp, created this successful Permaculture project blueprint, which is funded by Belgian Based Company WeForest.Org.
Bentley House International Corp, also funds ongoing infrastructure projects and has donated a pilot solar lighting program, installing basketball court flood lighting, lighting for schools and teachers faculty, and has installed solar lights in the remote villages of Sabangan, Tagbungan and Kadala Dalaan, in Malungon.
Many of the committee members praised the Permaculture project as a new approach and hoped it would be replicated in many other areas in Southern Mindanao.
By Cesar Fajardo