A seed fora forest

ROTTEN fruits do not fall. It,however, fi nds another purpose at least for Reymar, a fruit vendor in Roxas City. The vendor has been donating his overripe fruit products to a “Seed for A Forest: A Seed Donation Program” campaign of the Capiz Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (CaPENRO) under the Capiz provincial government. “I’d rather donate the seeds than dump or let them rot because if these will grow and bear fruit, many could benefi t,” said the fruit vendor for more than fi ve years at the city’s premier market Teodoro Arcenas Trade Center. Upon learning about the program in 2020, Reymar did not hesitate to participate in the seed donation drive for he knows that giving these fruits to CaPENRO is far better than throwing them away and allowing them to rot. He also encouraged his fellow fruit vendors to do the same.The seed donation waslaunched in 2017 as part of the “Go Green Capiz” campaign aimed to reforest the denuded mountains of the province’s hinterlands. “Collected seeds will be propagated in the provincial nurseries. This is to ensure seedlings availability to sustain the greening project of the province, Go Green Capiz,” said CaPENRO Public Information Officer Wilmon Alinsangan. The provincial nurseries are at the Governor’s Mansion compound in Brgy. Lanot, Roxas City and at the Capiz Ecology Park in Brgy. Nagba, Cuartero. From Jan. 1 to July 31 this year, the seed donation drive has collected 25,712 seeds from voluntary donors and those who redeemed their seeds with house essentials like basic and prime commodities. Seeds collected during the first quarter of 2023 were all propagated and are now seedlings, while those collected in the second quarter are now under propagation in their various seed beds. “These seedlings are available for free, upon request, to all Capiceños who wish to get involved in tree-growing activities,” Alinsangan noted. The program aims to address the declining forest cover by actively involving the public in seed collection and tree propagation efforts to support the larger Go Green Capiz initiative, which strives to make the province ecologically sustainable and resilient. It also seeks to promote the conservation of forests and biodiversity. The flooding problem in the province, particularly in municipalities that used to be flood–free in the past, is attributed to deforestation and siltation along waterways, among others, which was revealed in an aerial survey of the extent of flooding in the province due to tropical depression Agaton in 2022. Capiz has a forestland of about 93,769.73 hectares or 36 percent of its total land area based on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – 6 online portal. Its forest cover is only estimated at 30,208.27 hectares based on the 2005 data of the Land Evaluation Party of the agency. Alongside its greening intents is also the opportunity to increase awareness about the importance of seed growing and tree propagation. Like Reymar, by actively participating in seed collection and donating them, he becomes more conscious of the vital role he plays in preserving the natural heritage. Indeed, the seed donation drive acts as a platform to engage citizens in environmental conservation efforts and foster a sense of environmental stewardship within the community. (PIA Capiz)