Lunhaw Awardee calls for more tree growing activities in the watershed

March 25th, 2015 by

DAVAO CITY – This year’s winner of the Lunhaw Awards for the Best Agro-Forestry Initiative called for an intensification of tree growing activities along the watershed to reverse the damage caused by widespread agriculture development in the area.

“Today’s celebration of the International Day of Forests is an opportunity for us to emphasize the importance of forests and of trees outside our forests.”, said artist-teacher Ric Obenza.

Obenza, together with the Kalapati group of artists, is famous for his art and ecology workshops which have spurred widespread community initiatives on tree planting and rainforestation projects in Baguio, Calinan, Marahan and Marilog districts.

“Trees are essential in regenerating our watersheds. They absorb carbon dioxide and mitigate the impact of global warming brought about by excessive use of fossil fuels. They cool down our rivers and maintain water quality by preventing soil erosion”, he said.

IDIS Executive Director Ann Fuertes credits Obenza’s tree planting initiatives as instrumental in creating pockets of mini-forests in a watershed that is being encroached by plantations.

“His mini-rainforest parks have become buffer zones against banana and pineapple plantations, protecting communities from toxic pesticides and providing habitats for local wildlife to flourish.”, she said.

The Lunhaw Awards recognized Obenza’s soil generation technique and innovative rainforestation methods which have stopped the desertification of upland areas previously cleared for logging and plantations. His use of native trees and organic methods of farming have revitalized the forest land , allowing local animals and plants to survive and providing a source of forest products for communities to economically benefit from.

Worldwide, global deforestation continues at a frightening rate. The United Nations estimates that around 13 million hectares are destroyed annually, accounting for a 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

In the Philippines, changing land use policies in recent decades have opened up forest land to industrial agriculture and urban migration. This has resulted to the decline of the dipterocarp forest cover in the watersheds – a situation that Obenza hopes to arrest by engaging more community stakeholders in rainforestation activities.

“Our conscious turnaround from nature exploiter to environment steward is pivotal in reversing environmental degradation, habitat destruction and biodiveristy extinction. The call of the hour is to ‘Think globally, act locally’. Everyone should do their share by nurturing a tree.”, Obenza said. (MINDANAO DAILY MIRROR)

Davaoeños lauded for promoting a greener environment in Lunhaw Awards

March 14th, 2015 by

DAVAO CITY — Davaoeño agriculturists, farmers, advocates and other personalities who practice sustainable and innovative ways to promote a greener environment were recognized last night at the 3rd Lunhaw Awards held in Matina Town Square.

People and organizations whose local contributions on Organic Agriculture, Energy and Water Conservation, Forest-based Initiatives, Pollution Control, Architecture and Urban Greening and Marine Resource Management were acknowledged in the said awards.

Lunhaw was organized by the Interface Development Interventions, Inc. (IDIS) along with the Davao City Agriculturist Office, Davao Association of Catholic Schools, Inc., Davao City Water District and the City Environment and Natural Resources Office.

The Awardees were Vidala G. Albion for using diversified tools and ways in Agro-forestry; Kahayag Farms for providing trainings on organic agriculture production in small communities; and Zandro Gaitano for his integrated projects on forestry for increased profitability while maintaining ecological balance.

Meanwhile, Noel Batario was recognized for his replication of solar-powered lamps using plastic bottles filled with chlorine, which was later adopted in Manila known as “A Liter of Light”; Ricardo N. Obenza, Jr. for his “human-enhanced” natural forest regeneration project and Helen C. Camacho was awarded for her Urban Container Gardening (UCD) project that helps home owners with limited land area to grow plants using recyclable containers and compost household wastes.

Holy Cross College of Calinan was also lauded for devoting its best efforts and attention in managing the environment for the future generations through advocacy campaigns and programs.

Special Awards were also given to Davao Doctor’s College for Rainwater and Biohazard Waste Management; SM City Ecoland for Energy and Water Conservation; TESDA Provincial Training Center Davao for Renewable Energy Promotion and Wynward Valley Organic Vegetable Garden for Urban Organic Gardening practices.

Other finalists included Tugbok Central Elementary School SPED Center, Salvador “Zaldy” Sarong and Jainab Saba-ani.

The Awardees were given a Plaque of Recognition as well as a metal and hardwood trophy designed by Davao’s most celebrated visual artist, Kublai Millan.

Environmental advocates and artists Popong Landero and Maan Chua also performed on stage during the said event. (Joanna Garado,  105.9 Balita FM)

Acclaimed visual artist Kublai Millan designs trophy for Lunhaw Awards 2015

March 12th, 2015 by

DAVAO CITY – Dabawenyo artist and sculptor Kublai Millan has been tapped by the Lunhaw Awards organizers to redesign the trophy which will be given to this year’s awardees who will be recognized for their local initiatives in eco-sustainability and advocacy.

“The design now elevates the trophy into sculpture. The winners will be taking home a Kublai Millan art piece to honor their efforts in contributing to Davao’s vision of a greener and sustainable city”., said Lunhaw Awards co-organizer and IDIS Executive Director Ann Fuertes.

Kublai Millan is Davao’s foremost visual artist. He is most known for his iconic cement sculptures in Peoples Park and the Philippine Eagle inspired stage at Rizal Park.

“Art improves our relationship with nature.”, said Millan, who believes that art can be used as a path for expanding environmental action within our region.

The Lunhaw Awards 2015 trophy is a fusion of metal and hardwood. It outlines a leaf blade, tracing its veins and midrib, and is mounted on a solid apitong block which Millan recycled from abandoned wooden buildings.

“This metal leaf sprouting from an apitong trunk is a statement of the Lunhaw Awards vision of a solid commitment towards recognizing and replicating green initatives which make our city more livable and sustainable.”, he said.

The trophy will be handed out to the winners of the Lunhaw Awards 2015 this March 13, 2015 at the Matina Town Square from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. As a prelude to the awards ceremony, a series of public mini-lectures on green initiatives by some of this year’s finalists will be held at 1:30 pm, also at MTS. This is open to the general public.

Organized by the City Agriculturist’s Office (CAO), the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (City ENRO), the Davao Association of Catholic Schools (DACS), the Davao City Water District (DCWD) and the Interface Development Interventions (IDIS), the Lunhaw Awards is an annual citywide search which recognizes innovative and sustainable green initiatives that protect and nurture Davao City and its watersheds. (#)