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Church in Palawan aims to plant 10k trees

Church in Palawan aims to plant 10k trees

The Vicariate of Puerto Princesa aims to plant 10,000 trees in a protected landscape in South Palawan.

By Katya Santos

Oct. 2, 2018

PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan

In response to Pope Francis’ encylical Laudato Si, the Vicariate of Puerto Princesa is set to plant 10,000 trees in a protected landscape in South Palawan.

“Let us protect this project, let us take care of our common home.” said Bishop Socrates Mesiona, Apostolic Vicar of Puerto Princesa.

Spearheaded by the Augustinian Missionaries of the Philippines IPs Mission (AMP IM), the greening project in Mount Mantalingahan Protected Landscape (MMPL) kicked off August of this year.

‘Indigenous way’

According to Sr. Mae Juanitas of AMP IM, the Church implements the project through the help of the Pala’wan ethnic group in Brookes Point town, with support from the Department of Natural Resources (DENR), the Palawan NGO Network, Inc., and other civil society organizations.

“During our launching, we planted some 200 endemic trees in the mountain, but this is continuous till we reach our target in one year,” the missionary sister said.

She added that preparation of seedlings is done in the “indigenous way.” “This is also our way of respecting their culture,” explained Juanitas.

Multi-sectoral tree planting

Aside from continual planting, there will be a series of multi-sectoral tree planting activities to be led by Mesiona.
Since 2003, the Catholic Church has supported a community-based greening project which planted 90,000 trees in Mount Mantalingahan.

The 240, 000-hectare Mount Mantalingahan Protected Landscape covers five towns in Palawan: Quezon, Rizal, Sofronio Española, Brookes Point, and Bataraza. It is currently undergoing the final phase of evaluation for its application to be declared a world heritage site.