Over the last century, the Philippines has suffered a staggering amount of deforestation, from some 70% forest coverage down to just 20% today, largely due to illegal logging activities. The impacts of deforestation have been felt throughout the country, causing food shortages, poor water quality, landslides, and the endangering of wildlife habitat. Since the 1990s the Philippines has promoted reforestation efforts to push back against this loss of forest coverage, conserving wildlife habitats in the last remaining endangered forests, and developing creative solutions with nature and people in mind. This project will focus on carbon drawdown by planting fast-growing bamboo.
Planting bamboo in Bukidnon, Mindanao, will aid in restoring water cycles, preventing erosion, and reducing catastrophic flooding in the region. Mindanao has been dramatically deforested in the region and this planting project will restore 750,000 acres of barren land. Furthermore, because of it’s regenerative and fast-growing nature, the bamboo planted will support the local economy and provide jobs to indigenous and impoverished communities. The total planting will be 100,000 bamboo emphasizing carbon drawdown from the atmosphere. Botanically not trees but grasses, bamboo can restore landscapes quickly and sequester up to 365 tonnes of carbon per hectare per year. When considering the displacement of more carbon-intensive material production when replaced by bamboo, those benefits increase significantly.
A personalized tree certificate to say thanks for your donation. We’ll also send you updates on the Philippines project, so you can track the impact made on the community and environment.
Dendrocalamus Asper (giant bamboo), with native hardwood interplanting after year 5 (to give time for bamboo fire breaks to reach maturity) have been identified for this project. Giant bamboo has a unique geometric growth curve that makes it 10x faster than tree-based CO2 drawdown, and it can sequester up to 1.78 tonnes CO2/clump/year, or up to 356 tonnes/hectare/year when optimally managed. We see an additional 40% benefit as bamboo replaces other building materials over time. Furthermore, bamboo does not die in the grass fires that have devastated previous reforestation attempts in the area with native hardwoods. We only plant clumping bamboo to not compete with native species, and plan to increase biodiversity with native forest interplanting in future years.
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As a tropical nation, the Philippines is an important country for maintaining and improving the health of the world's tropical rainforests. Tropical forests around the globe are vital in so many ways. They are home to between 50-90% of Earth's species; one quarter of all medicines come from tropical plants; and tropical forests are a major player in the fight against climate change, as they store massive amounts of carbon dioxide and clean the air we breathe.
Tropical forests in the Philippines have been hit particularly hard by logging and resource extraction - only 6% of the country is now covered in rainforest.
In an effort to stop the destruction of critical forests, the Filipino government put a moratorium on logging in areas where biodiversity is threatened, and as of 2015, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) ranked the Philippines fifth for annual forest coverage gain!
Gender equality is promoted, as the light weight of bamboo allows women to participate in the bamboo economy. The community also decided to favor jobs within the nursery to local women. Indigenous communities will be involved with this project from start to finish by doing hands-on work as well as revenue sharing.
Bamboo aids in restoring the water cycle of a landscape. It prevents erosion and reduces catastrophic flooding. Mindanao has been dramatically deforested by logging over the years. This planting will contribute to restoring the 750,000 acres of barren land within the region while reducing further deforestation.
The majority of this land is owned by indigenous and impoverished communities that remain marginalized. Economic opportunities will be offered to disenfranchised groups in the area. Former rebels who have remained unemployed have been able to work thanks to the beginnings of a thriving bamboo economy.