The UPLB Museum of Natural History recently launched a simple photo exhibit of selected Philippine native trees in celebration of Earth Day 2016 last 22 April 2016.

With the theme “Trees for the Earth,” the exhibit was inspired by the monumental publication “Shades of Majesty” that highlights 88 species of Philippine native trees most of which are listed as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Philippine Red Data Book. “Shades of Majesty” was authored by MNH curator Prof. Pastor L. Malabrigo, Jr.

In a special seminar, Prof. Malabrigo also talked about BINHI, a prototype for the conservation of Philippine native trees. “BINHI is an effort to document our threatened native trees with the ultimate goal of conservation,” Malabrigo said. The program also aims to increase awareness on our native species through collaboration with educational institutions such as high schools where rescued native trees can be safely planted, maintained and grown.

Prof. Malabrigo, however, expressed disappointment of the use of non-native trees for reforestation. “In our study, we have proven that native trees are not slow-growers as some silviculturists claim. They are perfect for what we call as rainforestation as they produce resilient trees and high quality timber”. He further added that conservation needs a collective effort because we are in the critical point of losing our remaining forests.

In her closing remarks, MNH researcher Michelle Alejado said that it is not just about planting trees but growing quality trees.

Earth Day is a global movement that moves people to action towards making Earth greener and sustainable. Several Earth Day events occurred all over the world in participation to this movement. The Museum’s celebration is one of the 41 celebrations done in the Philippines and the only one done in the university which is registered with the Earth Day Network.

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