To take action “For our Future: Plant, Grow, Repeat,” the Pangasinan State University’s National Service Training Program (NSTP) unit partnered with Natural Science Department pioneered the tree-planting project on June 15, 2022, in Barangay Capandanan, Lingayen.
Grounded on PSU’s core values of “Social and Environmental Responsiveness,” the project engaged NSTP, Nat. Sci. Dep’t faculty members and first-year BS Biology students led to successfully planting a total of 600 bakawan (mangrove) propagules that will entirely benefit not only the community but essentially the ecosystem, both marine-coastal and terrestrial habitats and ecosystems in a myriad of ways.
In the conservationist’s lens, as a ‘blue carbon’ ecosystem, mangrove forests together with saltwater marshlands, and seagrass meadows are extremely effective (up to 100 times faster and more permanently than terrestrial forests) at storing atmospheric carbon, thereby mitigating climate change according to Fortes & Salmo (2014) based on the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reports.
The project’s initiatives mounted the students’ robust support over the “Let the Earth Breathe” campaign, a global call to raise awareness of the looming catastrophic repercussions of the climate crisis.
“It was my first-time planting mangrove propagules; quite difficult but I enjoyed it. The activity served as a reminder of the importance of trees in our daily life, and protecting coastal and marine ecosystems is equally significant as the ocean covers 71% of the earth’s surface, providing food and oxygen, both necessities for survival,” Emlene Mae Dela Cruz, first-year Biology student shared.
This goes arm in arm with the penultimate goal of sustaining the strategy by promoting environmental responsiveness, setting a platform for other units and organizations to follow, thus, starting a movement toward environmental protection and conservation.
“…it hopes to create an impact, start a movement, and let everyone, especially our peers, that with action, volunteerism, and teamwork, a future where everyone can breathe fresh and clean air is in our grasp; the world needs our help more than ever,” said in the project’s statement.
One with Earth, PSU holds strongly to its values of environmental responsiveness as manifested in its institutional strategic programs lined with partnerships with government and non-government organizations in taking sustainable actions to preserve nature and secure next generations’ future of a habitable planet.