2014 GeneSoc Youth Step up Drive for Reforestation in UP Laguna-Quezon

Reports compiled by Ranquid R and Lado JP
Originally published in FEED.org.ph

In collaboration with the Philippine based NGO Fostering Environment & Education Development (FEED), the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) and the Land Grant Management Office (LGMO) of UPLB, the UPLB Genetics Society (GeneSoc), and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP, First Infantry Battalion, Second Infantry Division), 1030 seedlings were planted in a hectare portion of the Laguna-Quezon Land Grant (LQLG) at Siniloan, Laguna last September 27.

Headed by FEED Board of Trustees member Dr. Asuncion K. Raymundo, and LGMO Manager, Mr. Benjamin Arizala, the activity was conducted in line with FEED’s ongoing “Living Legacy: Plant a Tree, FEED Our Future” program, aiming to contribute to the sustainable restoration of the country’s forests and natural woodlands, specifically indigenous woods, livelihood and cash crops.

Planted during the event are the seedlings of Syzgium subcaudatum (Malaruhat), Pterocarpus indicus (Narra), Diplodiscus sp. (Balobo) and Syzygium curranii (Lipote), which according to Mr. Arizala are very adaptive species in Philippine mountain environments, and are efficient in reforesting the site. Rehabilitation of denuded areas is one current focus of the LGMO team and the chosen student organization, GeneSoc. The organization has already been conducting activities outside UPLB, aiming to aid communities through different outreach programs and medical missions.

FEED, GeneSoc and LGMO participants flashing their smiles after successfully planting 1030 plant seedlings in a hectare of land at UP Laguna-Quezon Land Grant. Dr. Raymundo of FEED (front left) and Dr. Mendioro of GeneSoc (front right) lead the tree planting activity in partnership with LGMO-UPLB and AFP at UP Laguna-Quezon Land Grant, Siniloan, Laguna.

Youth Power & Partnerships

As handpicked by Dr. Raymundo, Professor Emeritus and former College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), UPLB Dean, GeneSoc aligned the tree planting activity to one of its objectives of plant genetic resources management advocacy. Led by Dr. Merlyn Mendioro, senior adviser, and Maria Quita Guevarra, president, a total of 25 resident and alumni members of the organization participated the event.

FEED has conducted several tree planting activities in the area and it is the second time they partnered with a student organization in UPLB. “We [GeneSoc] are very happy and honored to be chosen by FEED to be one of its partners. Sana po ito na ang umpisa nang mas madami at matagal pa pong mga partnerships with them,” Ms. Guevarra said. GeneSoc is currently the CAS Best Student Organization.

About Fostering Education and Environment for Development (FEED)

FEED operates as a social enterprise, is registered with the Philippine Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC #: CN201119068) as a non-profit, non-governmental organization. The organization aim to harness market forces from the public, private, NGO sectors in a participatory manner in order to establish efficient and effective partnerships towards achieving our social mission. Partnering with the University of the Philippines (UP), we offer scholarships to underprivileged students pursuing degrees in Agriculture, Environmental Sciences, Food Security, Climate Change and Sustainable Development, encouraging leadership in the sustainable development of our natural resources and protection of the environment. Our projects include national reforestation of indigenous woods to sustain the agricultural livelihood of impoverished communities.