Planting trees vs El Nino’s impact

Planting trees vs El Nino’s impact

May 23, 2023, 8:07 AM
OpinYon Editorial

OpinYon Editorial


The coming of El Nino is causing concern among the people because of its impact on our water resources (eventually even power supply from hydroelectric plants) and the killing heat that dries the soil and cause plants’ and animals’ death as well as human health.

Some are turning to their creative nature in search for ways to mitigate the impact of severe droughts of El Nino on food security, human, plant and animal health as well as the economy—business and education—not just on an El Nino year but for the medium and long term.

Rizal Rep. Juan Fidel Felipe Nograles (Rizal, 4th District) has urged Filipinos to continue planting trees—though belatedly as El Nino is just around the corner—to tide us through this severe weather phenomenon.

He underscored the need to aggressively restore the country’s forest cover as a measure against El Niño and long-term climate change. Finally, we are beginning to realize that we have for so long raped our forests, fishery and water resources and the impact of our wrong stewardship over them for current and future generations of humanity.

“Our forests serve as a buffer against weather-related disasters. They release moisture into the atmosphere to counter droughts and shield us against typhoons and prevent flooding,” Nograles said.

Nograles stressed that tree planting is an excellent communal activity that has a positive effect and I hope more local leaders will organize and engage in this activity so that we can restore our country’s greenness.

Why not, instead of those fanciful fiestas where we display our dances, beauties and songs, serenade nature this once by planting trees, greeneries and vegetables (for food security) in every open spaces of our barangays?

Last month, Nograles led the tree planting in hilly Montalban to commemorate the town’s 152nd founding anniversary. Around 4,000 saplings were planted along the Wawa riverbank and mountainside.

More than 6,000 students, senior citizens and women from the town participated in the activity, which also included the “Forward Nature” advocacy walk.

El Niño increases the likelihood of unusually low rainfall conditions that could cause the water hoard in dams to fall below functional levels.

The weather bureau says there have been seven severe El Nino events since 1980, with the last one lasting from 2015 to 2016, inflicting $327 million in agricultural losses. In the previous El Niño event from the last quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019, up to 61 percent of the country endured a drought while the other 39 percent underwent a dry spell.

The challenge now is to put our resources—budgets, human resources and determination—into repairing the damage we have inflicted on our God-given assets. Let us replant to save ourselves and nature.

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