IT is certainly distressing and revolting that the remaining forests are rapidly decreasing across the globe, including the Philippines, threatening many plant and animal species with extinction.
In the country, home to the endangered monkey-eating eagle and the tamaraw or Mindoro dwarf buffalo, government authorities and the public are worried because of the retreating wilderness.
Thus, we commend the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for entering into a partnership with the private sector for the creation of more “green spaces” in urban areas.
The setting up of “green spaces” is part of the Biodiversity Management Bureau’s “Urban Biodiversity Program,” said DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, a former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The establishment of “green spaces” in cities is similar to the forest bathing concept developed in Japan in the 1980s.
The DENR-BMB’s “Urban Biodiversity Program” aims to promote the conservation of biodiversity and develop and maintain “green spaces” in urban centers to provide ecosystem services to the people.
Cimatu described the project as a “win-win” for both the environment and the Filipinos, noting its many benefits to the people’s mental and emotional well-being in urban centers across the country.
Forest bathing, which is based on a Japanese concept called shinrin-yoku, with shinrin and yoku meaning forest and bathing, respectively, is taking in the forest atmosphere during a leisurely walk.
The project will be undertaken in collaboration with the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation, Philippine Association of Landscape Architects and Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners.
Backing the project are the regional and field offices of the DENR and local government units.
In supporting the creation of “green spaces” in urban centers, various quarters lamented that the country’s remaining forests are being destroyed for no good reasons at all.