Caritas PH brings ‘bamboo forest’ project to Panay, Negros

Caritas PH brings ‘bamboo forest’ project to Panay, Negros

By Leonor Rosales

February 29, 2024

Roxas City

Panay and Negros Islands will be host to about 200,000 bamboo plants as part of a church-based climate mitigation project.

A memorandum of agreement was signed on Feb. 28 in Roxas City for the “Caritas Bamboo Forest Project,” fostering collaboration between Caritas Philippines and the archdioceses of Capiz and Jaro, as well as the Diocese of San Carlos.

The project, covering a total land area of 32.9 hectares, will be located in the cities of Cadiz and San Carlos, both in Negros Occidental, as well as in the towns of Anilao in Iloilo and Cuartero in Capiz.

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos said the project is their contribution to the Church’s global Laudato Si Action for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation.

“It is the Church’s response to the climate emergency. It is not just climate change but rather a climate emergency,” said Alminaza, who is also the vice president of Caritas Philippines, said at a press conference.

Fr. Mark Granflor, Social Action Director of the Archdiocese of Capiz, said that caring for God’s creation is one of the most fundamental things that people are called to do.

“We are gathered here for this extraordinary event to remind ourselves of the beauty of God’s gifts… to be more appreciative and responsible to God’s creation.” Granflor said.

The MoU signing ceremony was held at the residence of Archbishop Victor Bendico of Capiz.

Aside from Alminaza and Bendico, those present included Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo and Fr. Antonio Labiao, Caritas Philippines president and executive secretary, respectively, as well as other local partners.

Studies show that bamboos are effective in reducing carbon footprint and contributing to the fight against climate change.

Launched in 2022, the Caritas Bamboo Forest Project aims to plant at least five million bamboo poles in five years in all the country’s dioceses.

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