Pagadian: DENR, Zamboanga city government host largest Bike.Hike.Plant Event

photo courtesy of DENR Zamboanga Peninsula

The DENR Forest Management Bureau and DENR Zamboanga Peninsula, in partnership with the City Government of Zamboanga, hosted the largest Bike.Hike.Plant event to date with 1,895 registrants on June 22.

The event aims to mobilize hikers, bikers, and the public in promoting reforestation and sustainable forest management. Each participant’s effort contributes to forest conservation and protection.

Key figures in attendance included Zamboanga City Mayor John M. Dalipe; ASEC Arleigh J. Adorable, OIC Assistant Secretary for Field Operations – Western Mindanao and Director of the Forest Management Bureau (FMB); FMB Assistant Director Edna D. Nuestro; ASEC Ruth M. Tawantawan, Assistant Secretary for Field Operations-Eastern Mindanao; ASEC Noralene M. Uy, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Foreign Assisted and Special Projects; and Dir. Khalil S. Bayam, Director of Indigenous Peoples Concerns – Mindanao and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Affairs. Also present were members of the FMB Executive Committee and DENR IX officials, including RED Arturo E. Fadriquela, ARD MS Marie Angelique C. Go, ARD TS Christopher C. Babaran, PENROs, CENROs, Regional Division Chiefs, and other regional and field office personnel. It also saw the attendance of Zamboanga City government officials, Barangay Pasonanca Chairperson Nelson Lacastesantos and his officials, different biker groups, national government agencies, Philippine National Police, Philippine Air Force, cooperative groups and group sponsors coming from the business and industrial sector.

ASec. Arleigh J. Adorable highlighted the institution’s dedication to preserving the nation’s natural heritage through sustainable forest management. He underscored its advocacy for forest welfare and biodiversity conservation, urging active participation in tree planting activities alongside Arbor Day.

“The idea of Bike.Hike.Plant. is very special, as each participant rides his or her bicycle while carrying a seedling inside a drawstring bag, which will be planted at the end of the route. it showcases the passion and willingness of Filipinos to be part of taking care of our environment. Personally, it is heartwarming to see new environmental champions among these bikers and hikers who participate and promote the importance of Philippine forests.”, added ASEC Adorable.

RED Arturo E. Fadriquela, in his message, expressed gratitude for hosting the event in Zamboanga City and described it as a significant effort to promote reforestation and responsible tourism. He highlighted the importance of community involvement in protecting natural forests and encouraged volunteer-bikers and environmental partners to engage in tree planting activities, promoting bicycles as eco-friendly transportation.

He also underscored the importance of preserving Zamboanga’s Pasonanca Natural Park, designated as Asia’s 52nd ASEAN Heritage Park and the first in Zamboanga Peninsula. “Since 2016, Bike.Hike.Plant has engaged people in adventure through biking, hiking, and tree planting. This year’s event at Pasonanca Natural Park is crucial as a carbon sink, playing a vital role in mitigating climate change effects,” he emphasized.

ASec. Noralene M. Uy expressed gratitude for the community’s commitment to the environment, emphasizing the collective impact of the event. “Our journey through biking, hiking, and planting has been a testament to our physical endurance and love for nature, and a reminder of the collective impact we achieve when we join hands for a common cause. By participating in this year’s Bike.Hike.Plant, each one of you has contributed to the legacy of the Philippine Forestry Service, nurturing the seeds of a greener tomorrow,” said ASEC Uy.

The event began at Paseo del Mar and concluded at the Pasonanca Natural Park. A total of 3,500 seedlings, including species such as Narra, Kamagong, Mindanao Cinnamon, Ipil, Kalumpang, and Dao, were planted by the participants.

Pasonanca Barangay Chairman Nelson Lacastesantos welcomed the participants and guests at the culminating program, where Mayor Dalipe delivered his message. National and local partners, pivotal to the event’s success, were recognized for their contributions. Special awards and prizes were presented to the members of the special sector, including senior citizens and other selected attendees.

Mayor Dalipe emphasized the community’s progress towards their goal of planting 1 million trees. He urged everyone to unite in ensuring that future generations can continue to cherish the wonders of nature.

Since 2016, Bike Hike Plant has served as a combined celebration of the Philippine Forestry Service’s anniversary and Arbor Day, promoting unity in environmental conservation and community participation.

(Source: DENR Zamboanga Peninsula)

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