The Philippines is a lush and diverse country located in the Western Pacific. However, like other countries plagued by severe deforestation, it is now facing a crisis of habitat destruction. From 1990 to 2005 the country lost 33% of its forest cover.
Every year 304,000 acres of forest cover are destroyed in the Philippines. At the current rate, all remaining forests will be gone by the year 2036.
And unfortunately, attempts by the government to do something have mostly failed: only 30% of reforestation efforts have even been successful. Logging, forest fires, natural disasters, expansive mining, urbanization, and a large growth in population are to blame.
Compounding things even worse, the high levels of poverty in the Philippines have pushed locals to invade nearby forests for subsistence and income. Despite bans by local authorities, illegal logging and mining continues to be a huge driver of deforestation.
The alarming rate of forests being destroyed is of particular concern to scientists who confirm the rich ecosystem of the Philippines is home to almost 1,200 different species of animal life of which almost half are endemic—they don’t live anywhere else on the planet.
Furthermore, the country is home to over 8,900 different types of plants. Of these, roughly 40% are endemic.
The message is clear: Filipino wildlife is rich and diverse…and it’s facing eminent destruction as widespread deforestation continues to take place.
The high level of tree loss is also leading to harmful soil degradation as nutrients are depleted from the ground. This poor soil quality in turn leads to lower crop yields, which then pushes locals to resort to illegal forestry to survive. In many areas, at least half of the nutrient-rich topsoil has disappeared.
It is a negative cycle and it must be stopped.
For these reasons, 8 Billion Trees has partnered with ForestNation to carry out our tree planting project in Philippines where we hope to begin restoring areas of the Earth that have been brutalized by irresponsible forestry and natural disasters.