The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) led a monumental tree-planting activity in the watershed of a newly built Nueva Ecija dam. They planted around 3,000 narra and mahogany seedlings in line with their theme of “Tree. Water. Life.” The project was undertaken specifically by the National Irrigation Administration – Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System’s (NIA-UPRIIS’) Division 3 as well as the area’s local government unit.
The trees were planted in the surrounding area of the Sierra Madre mountain range as part of the town’s “Three Million Trees in Three Years” program. This program aims to repopulate the forests of Nueva Ecija, particularly the Sierra Madre. Incoming mayor Isidro Pajarillaga has said this project would work with private participation from both non-government and civic organizations.
Photo of the Sierra Madre Mountain ranges from GMA
Because of the water sustainability program, makapag-develop tayo ng watershed at yun nga kabundukan na ito, majority dito ay yung Sierra Madre e nakita naman natin kalbung-kalbo na (we can develop the watershed and this mountain, majority of which is Sierra Madre. We can see that it is already denuded).
Ibalik natin yaong dating kagubatan na magkaroon ng buhay, magkaroon uli ng hayop diyan, buhayin mula ang ating mga kailugan, ang mga kabukiran, ang mga taniman natin, ay umagos na muli ang tubig (Let us bring back the former forest to have life, to have animals there again. Let us revive the rivers, the rice fields and farms, so that water would flow again).
The advocacy of reforestation isn’t just for the sake of having more trees. Engineer Jose Ariel G. Domingo, manager of the division, made clear that it stands to benefit the ecosystem of the area as a whole. It would bring back balance to the area, particularly in terms of protecting the dam and increasing its water supply: “Saka siyempre, pag may puno, may tubig (Of course, if there are trees, there is water).”
What are other everyday actions we can do to protect the environment? Share your own tips with us in the comments!