Legarda Advocates for Urban Forestry

March 20, 2018

In keeping with the theme of “Forests and Sustainable Cities” for the International Day of Forests on March 21, Senator Loren Legarda urged both the private and public sector to grow trees and provide green spaces in order to improve the urban environment.

Legarda, a staunch advocate of environment and sustainable practices, said that urban forestry, which is the management of trees for the well-being of the urban community, is crucial in addressing pollution and mitigate impacts of climate change within urban areas.

“Urban forestry breaks the notion that there is no space for trees and natural ecosystems in the urban setting. Trees are excellent filters in removing harmful pollutants in the air we breathe, and also provide shade and shelter for the people and habitats for the animals,” Legarda said.

“We could also expect an improved quality in our water as trees and forests filter and regulate water supply. Green spaces within our urban communities could also generate tourism and encourage healthy lifestyles,” she added.

On the aspect of climate change, the Senator emphasized that forests and trees store and convert carbon for growth instead of being released into the atmosphere and contributing to global warming. She added that trees collect water in their branches and soil and therefore help prevent flooding.

Legarda also encouraged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through the National Greening Program (NGP), to include urban spaces where they could plant and propagate trees, in partnership with local government units and the private sector.

She also said that the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) of the DENR should help educate proponents on the kind of species suitable for urban forestry, such as acacia, guyabano, kamagong, ipil-ipil, narra, molave, and pandan.

“In this global celebration of forestry, we reiterate the importance of our trees and forests in improving the well-being of our society. We have witnessed rapid urbanization and modernization at the expense of our environment, but it is now time that we reform our ways and work towards a greener and more sustainable life for all,” Legarda concluded.