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FPE Ups Efforts to Protect Trees Threatened by Road Projects

Posted on August 21, 2014

Strengthening efforts to lobby against the practice of excessive tree-cutting in preparation for road widening projects, the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) recently engaged the Greenresearch Environmental Research Group, Inc. in a partnership agreement for a quick response grant that aims to save 770 trees in Pangasinan. 

Road widening projects are placing healthy, full-grown trees in grave danger in various locations across the Philippines. (Photo by Greenresearch) 

Last August 8, 2014, FPE and Greenresearch formally agreed to utilize a small grant to engage the Urdaneta-based Green Court in a case to save the 770 remaining trees targeted for cutting in order to accommodate the Manila North Road (MNR) widening project.

Prior to this action, a total of 1,059 trees were already felled for this purpose over the period of November 2013 to January 2014.

Greenresearch aims to pursue a legal case through the Save the Trees Coalition (Pangasinan), seeking injunction, an Environmental Protection Order (EPO), and continuing madamus. The court case will be supplemented by an information and education campaign to strengthen both the Coalition and raise the public’s awareness on the matter.

In addition, Greenresearch will seek the mediation of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) central offices and the Provincial Government of Pangasinan for enhanced support.

Candles are lit and white ribbons are tied around the trunks of trees marked for felling. The markings--portions of bark stripped off from the tree trunks--also lead to the deterioration and death of the trees, as these prevent the trees from receiving nutrients from the soil. (Photo by Greenresearch)

Felling of trees for the sake of road development projects have been a recurring concern for the Coalition and other environment advocates nationwide. Earlier this month, similar sentiments have been expressed in government infrastructure projects in two cities (Naga and Carcar) and one town (San Fernando) in Cebu.

Efforts there have already caused the DPWH to halt tree-cutting operations and engage into more discussions with the Coalition, while DENR Secretary Ramon Paje has been reported to be open to the idea of reconsidering the permits that mobilize these operations.


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