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Rotary Club of Quezon City Circle Club ID No. 00005407 Chartered: July 19, 2000 Circle

Rotary Club of Quezon City Circle

Club ID No. 00005407 Chartered: July 19, 2000

City Circle Club ID No. 00005407 Chartered: July 19, 2000 Circle means forever. No beginning and

Circle means forever. No beginning and no end. Let our friendship be not just an endless line but a circle that goes on and on for a lifetime.

The Rotary Silver Forest

By AG Rene “Butch” Madarang Chairman, District 3780 Environment Committee

RATIONALE

In the next six years, President Noynoy Aquino’s Administration will lead in the planting of some 1.5 billion trees covering 1.5 million hectares of lands under the public domain, while rallying every Filipino to plant 10 trees a year for the next six years, nationwide.

This urgent task is embodied in PNoy’s Executive Order No. 26, declaring the implementation of a National Greening Program (NGP) as a “government priority”. The NGP harmonizes the greening efforts of the private sector and civil society and adopted the following strategies: social mobilization, harmonization of initiatives, and monitoring and management of database.

STRATEGIES

In the process, development communication work plays a key role and not just a support mechanism. A vital component of the program is to ensure the genuine participation of all stakeholders and the entire citizenry. The first important step for genuine participation, as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) puts it, is when “stakeholders are informed about their rights, responsibilities and opinions.”

Since Advocacy and social mobilization have been considered as major strategies for the success of the NGP, it is imperative for Rotary International District 3780 to immediately respond as stakeholders who can influence and intervene in the implementation of the program.

Advocacy work is an important tool in communication that Rotary can use to articulate and in the process persuade a specific group of people to have certain attitude and undertake courses of action needed to achieve NGP’s as well as Rotary’s objectives.

Social mobilization, on the other hand, acts as a catalyst in facilitating the implementation of the program which RI D3780 can utilize as a process of eliciting the support and participation of individuals, groups, organizations, families and communities; to engaging people to act and form widespread mobilization.

BACKGROUND

The Philippines is considered as one of the most biologically diverse countries worldwide. It has the highest number of endemic species both flora and fauna. Unfortunately, it is also one of the highest biodiversity losses in the world. It is considered as one of the 25 global hotspots on biodiversity.

Urban biodiversity is not exempted in biodiversity losses, like, Quezon City, considered as the largest city in Metro Manila. It is where the La Mesa Watershed is located, the primary source of potable water for the 14

million Metro Manilans. In July 2007 it was declared through Presidential Proclamation 1336 as a Watershed Reservation as a measure to protect the existing vegetation and prevent introduction of other uses detrimental to the source of water supply for the urban dwellers.

Composed of 2700 hectares of a reservoir and a surrounding forest which serves as a vital carbon dioxide sink and functions as the lungs, providing Metro Manilans of clean air. Extensive restoration and rehabilitation of the park is urgently needed. It is considered as one of the biodiversity losses in an urban area.

DETAILS AND PURPOSE

The OBJECTIVE of the project is to enhance, develop and protect the diminishing biodiversity of flora of the La Mesa Dam and watershed and its surrounding area by planting selected species of indigenous and endemic species of flora.

Increase the diminishing population of endemic/indigenous species of fauna with the restoration of its natural habitat.

Ensure climate change resiliency, enhance the formation of positive values among the youth, New Generation Service partners and the various Rotary Community Corps, volunteers from government, rural development agencies’ employees of Departments of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform and Environment and Natural Resources through shared responsibilities in sustainable management of tree plantation.

Inform; educate the public in water conservation and protection so as to make it a sustainable resource that will benefit the whole population.

Develop the area as an eco-tourism destination for local and foreign visitors, but more importantly, to the residents of Quezon City.

In line with EO 26 National Greening Program of President Noynoy Aquino and lead implementer DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), Quezon City thru Mayor Herbert Bautista, RID 3780 ( Rotary International District 3780) will undertake a joint development project in the rehabilitation, reforest, preserve and protect a ROTARY SILVER FOREST inside the La Mesa Dam and Watershed.

The theme and also the title of the project will be aptly called,

The ROTARY SILVER FOREST Kalikasan.Kasunduan.Kapayapaan.(Nature.Understanding.Peace)

The project will be implemented through a Memorandum Of Agreement with the Quezon City LGU thru Mayor Herbert Bautista, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Rotary International

District 3780(RID 3780) with 90 Clubs comprising of 2,300 Rotarians under District Governor Jess Cifra thru District Environment Committee Chairman Butch Madarang and Vice-Chairman Jun Avecilla.

The following guidelines on the scope, duties and obligations of all project stakeholders are hereby set:

The DENR will provide a 10 hectare land within the La Mesa Dam and watershed. Assist in the procurement of necessary supply/sourcing of planting materials/seedlings and inputs: 5000 saplings of premium, indigenous, fast growing and other forest species and fruit trees;

The Quezon City LGU thru Mayor Bautista shall impart moral guidance, operating and technical advice in the promotion and publicity, adoption, and transfer of appropriate technologies;

DENR to provide free access to identified planting sites and proposed development plan of the area, watering requirements, its operation and maintenance;

All Rotarians of RI District 3780(2,300 members) will be tasked do the actual planting, monitoring for the proper maintenance and protection of the area designated as Rotary Silver Forest. The Environment Committee to formulate financial and administrative systems for fiscal integrity;

RI District 3780 Environment Committee Chair and members concerned will select and assign local urban poor families living in the surrounding area to undertake site preparation/ development e.g. clearing, staking and digging individual holes per plant; and provide for necessary funds as compensation for services rendered.

On October 8, 2011 troops of Rotarians braved the morning drizzle which later turned into a downpour to launch the Rotary Silver Forest Project and commence with the tree planting activities inside the La Mesa Watershed. More than a thousand seedlings were planted, tended with bare hands, by committed individuals who recognize fully well the damage that has and still being done to the environment.

This collective effort, could thus be, our small contribution to finding solutions to prevent or reduce the great harm that man has been doing to our Mother Earth. All participants, fellow Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors, Rotary Community Corps, Service partners and the urban poor settlers who have become guardians of the environment capped the day with a fervent hope and prayer that we can pass on to future generations a better place to live than the one we presently enjoy.