Two people’s organizations/associations in Samar relentlessly embrace the protection and conservation activities through the DISOP Philippines’ project. This 2021, the associations established another 60 hectares of endemic tree species inside or within the buffer areas of the Samar Island Natural Park (SINP). The beneficiaries are forever grateful to the donors of the DISOP Philippines project because aside from protecting their own community, the project provided employment to the populace especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The associations’ years of experience in establishing tree plantation speaks of how they manage to select good wildlings to plant and protect the biodiversity of the area. To accommodate the volume of seedlings that they have to raise in the nursery, the association decided to construct three (3) temporary nurseries that are proximate to the plantation area. Yakal (Shorea astylosa), a hard wood tree species endemic to Samar, is one of the wildlings reconditioned or rejuvenated in the nurseries before it is planted in the delineated plantation area. Its population in the area is plenty but old enough to live for more years. The planted trees will then become a good replacement of the older stocks and become the future mother trees. Yakal is also classified as critically endangered and vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Other species were white and red lauan (Shorea contorta/ Shorea negrosensis), bagonito (Xanthostemon verdugonianus), patsaragon (Syzygium crassibracteatum), narra (Pterocarpus indicus), and molave (Vitex parviflora).
Prior to the establishment of the plantation, the association seeks the assistance from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to survey and delineate the 50-hectare plantation. Once completed, the association collects wildlings and raise it in the nurseries. The wildlings stayed in the nursery for a month to be revitalized before it is planted in the field. Planting the trees is undertaken through a pairing system where one does the brushing and staking while the other follows the stakes to plant the tree and clean its surroundings. The association conforms to the planting distance of 4m X 5m which is the recommendation of the DENR in all their National Greening Program.