Davao, Philippines, July 25, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- Tagbungan Association President, Lito Paras said, "We're saddened to reveal that a survey showed over 70,000 young trees were lost in the 5-month El Nino. We never thought the rain would stop for such a long time, although project manager Mr. Jonathon Bentley-Stevens issued all nurseries back-pack sprayers so we could keep watering the smaller trees, however after a while our water source in the mountain also dried up and we had to walk many kilometers to get water even for our daily needs."
President of Bentley House International Corp, Planting partner of Geoaxioma, Mr. Jonathon Bentley-Stevens, said, “Having completed many reforestation projects in Mindanao since 1994, this is the worst El-Nino effect we have seen. Almost 5 months of little or sporadic rain has left the ground hard and dry, the most noticeable effect was on areas newly planted with trees less than 3 months old.”
he continued, "We plant mostly endemic trees, except for along the land slide vulnerable areas where we plant fast growing Falcateria Albizia, which has a strong root network to prevent land slides."
The Plant the trees and light the villages project rewards planters with home solar light kits, and eliminates the use of kerosene in the small huts, which is a carcinogen affecting particularly small children.
Me Stevens said, “It is not just the eliminating of Kerosene, but in some cases a quarter of their income is consumed by the need for light through kerosene, and the nearest supply is almost 26 kilometers away and has to be carried up the mountain.”
Mr. Paras said, “We vow that all affected areas will be replanted now that the raining season has started, we had hoped to reach the 500,000 tree milestone by now, but we will surely reach that goal now that the rains are here.”
Mr. Stevens also said, “The Geoaxioma Sarangani project seeks to assist villages living near the once pristine Sarangani Rain Forest, devastated by foreign loggers over the years which reduced the rain forest from 250,000 hectares to only 2,400 hectares with the resultant loss of native wildlife. The Geoaxioma project surpassed its milestone of 1/3rd of a million trees last December in a project that has changed the lives of the 7 participating villages, and over 1,000 participants.”
He continued, “We have properly managed covered nurseries, the largest being 70,000 trees in Tagbungan, and the resultant income has increased prosperity and many planters have started small successful business in the Sarangani area.”