>Planting of Trees to Cushion Impact of Global Warming


By Ric Obedencio
Bohol province is just lucky that its forests, particularly the tourist attraction Bilar-Loboc man-made forest, remained intact but there’s much more to be done, including continuing planting of trees to cushion the impact of global warming.
Banering the theme, “Bridging the Collective Action on Climate Change and Food Security,” Global warming or climate change had been one of the focal points of the national convention of foresters held here last week at Bohol Tropics Resort Club courtesy of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), wherein environment Sec. Lito Atienza was the keynote speaker.
Bohol has its share on the inconvenient truth of global warming that seems to be no end in sight of cooling down, because it triggers side effects on agriculture. Global warming or climate change is believed to be brought about by heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions.  
Even if others consider it as an old tune, Vice-Gov. Julius Caesar Herrera call for more efforts to conserve and protect the environment including tree planting has paid off, after all. 
Herrera, chair of the agriculture committee of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, said that planting of trees and food plants is needed to sustain the environment’s temperature and food security.
In a recent interview with Contact Point over DyRD, provincial agriculturist Liza Quirog said that global warming affects food security. The statement came following the reported “rice shortage” in the province, which turned out to be untrue. Bohol is 83% self-sufficient in rice production in region 7 based on data from the Bureau Agricultural Statistics, hence it is the food basket in Central Visayas.
Also, in a separate interview, Atty. Archie Cruz, policy officer of SEARICE, a non-government organization dealing with farming, also said that global warming that sparks off climate change really influences agriculture.
Quirog said that somehow global warming distorted the planting season pattern in the province. On this score, Quirog called on those concerned to avoid burning the rice stalks after harvest because this adds on the carbon dioxide emission to the atmosphere. And probably, there’s shortage in rice production due to climate change, she added.
The unusual high occurrence of the so-called “fungus,” which destroyed rice farms, could probably be traced to climate change, she said. In fact, “fungus” has adversely affected the five-hectare of rice seeds plantation. The “fungus” cropped up during December-January period, she said.
Cruz explained that securing bio-fuels first by planting food crops, such as corn, cassava, sugar and others, will not help “climate change” changed.
Cruz questioned the priority of the government of securing these crops for bio-fuel in a bid to find alternative and reduce dependency on fossil-based fuel. What are the trade-offs, he asked.  
He said that the government is hell bent in pushing through the bio-fuel than food security, saying that bio-fuel is a “threat” to food security. 
Bio-fuels, under the law Biofuel Act of 2006, he said, has two components: bio-ethanol which needs food crops such as corn, sugar, cassava; and bio-diesel from nutrient-rich leafy vegetable malunggay, oil palm and jatropa (tuba-tuba).
It looks like that there may be a large amount of carbon emission into the air in the process or the way these crops (oil palm and others) are handled in processing plants, Cruz said.

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