Due to the spread of Corona virus infection, we are now facing a situation that we could not have imagined from our daily life so far. In the activity areas of the Children’s Forest Program (CFP), the impact is great that schools have been closed and restrictions of movement have continued, and there are many areas where we can’t carry out activities.
In the midst of the transformation of what was previously accepted as “a matter of course” we also had to reassess our past activities due to the Corona pandemic. What can we do for the children and communities working together so far ? While considering the role that is required, we will introduce the newly launched initiatives from each site.
Staff, OISCA Manila Office
In the Philippines, from the middle of March 2020, quarantine measures have been taken in wide areas to restrict behavior and economic activities, disrupting the society. Home-based learning continues in school education and the learning environment for children is also seriously affected. In CFP, we strive to deliver hope and support communities that have been isolated due to the restrictions, and above all, we are carrying out activities that give top priority to children.
From April to June 2020 when severe restrictions were instituted national-wide, OISCA distributed food packs, masks and sanitation goods such as soaps to the people in the rural areas where it is hard to reach the government support.
On May 5 in Sariaya, Quezon Province, OISCA staff together with health workers distributed food packs to 55 families who are in need of life having malnourished children. OISCA also donated masks made of cloth to the health workers.
On July 3 in Capalonga, Camarines Norte Province, OISCA organized a seminar on environmental conservation and measures against infectious diseases for teachers of CFP schools. OISCA also donated mobile hand washing devices to 7 schools participants in the seminar.
From October 5, 2020, studies were resumed in public elementary and high schools, but face-to-face classes were not conducted and home study is continuing. Most of the CFP participating schools are located in the rural areas, and they don’t have sufficient internet environment. Therefore, many children are studying at home by a method called module learning in which they work on assignment prints from school. In order to support children learning in this new format, OISCA, in consultation with the government and schools in each province, are supporting educational materials.
In addition to the enormous labor and costs for creating assignments every week, materials and equipment are insufficient, and schools are troubled. Moreover, teachers have to regularly visit families in which parents have difficulties of teaching and to support studies.
In order to support education for children and teachers struggling in preparing teaching materials, OISCA donated module learning materials such as copy papers, ink and used printers meeting the needs of each school.
Since it has become difficult to carry out tree planting and environment education by school as a whole, they changed the conventional method of activities. From the time when restrictions were partially relaxed, tree planting at school was reopened by small group, and also distributed seedlings and promoted tree planting at home and vegetable cultivation so that environment and nutrition for children would be improved. Furthermore, we started new efforts such as seminars by utilizing online so as not to stop awareness for environmental protection.
Online seminars were conducted for school children and students. Although there are challenges, it was possible to participate from remote areas enabling to target a greater number of participants．
The Green Wave is a global diversity campaign to educate children and youth about the diversity which OISCA has participated since 2008.
The Green Wave campaign carried out worldwide on and around May 22th which is designated as the International day for Biological diversity. OISCA also carried out various activities not only domestic but also international, mainly with CFP participating schools.
In Hong Kong, the OISCA Hong Kong Chapter held “building squares of TSUMIKI: Wood blocks”※ on March 21st 2019.
A total of 55 kinder garden children and teachers took part in building squares of TSUMIKI. They made artworks by using 3 kinds of wood blocks.
At the end, they made a big town by gathering their respective artworks. After that, they watched the Kamishibai (story telling with pictures) which tells the importance of forest. They intently listened to the story narrated by the speaker and learned about the importance of appropriate forest management.
In Hong Kong’s urban area where the population is concentrated, children have no opportunity to spending time with natural environment. Therefore, through this experience, they have been able to know the importance and blessing of forest.
In Japan, we carried out tree planting and silvicultural activity in various places.
In Yamanashi Prefecture, OISCA held a planting event on June 5 which was designated as the “Environment Day” by the United Nations.
Employees of OISCA supporting companies and staff of the Indian Embassy and local elementary school children planted trees on Environment Day in Mt. Fuji. Mt. Fuji was added to the World Cultural Heritage list in 2013 but a part of forest had lost ecosystem due to insect damage. They mended some nets which protect seedlings from the damage by deer and carried out supplementary planting of broadleaf seedlings in the damage area. These seedlings planted on this day were donated by the Embassy of India to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth. We hope that these seedlings will grow well and Mt. Fuji will show a beautiful appearance to make people delighted.
2020 will marks the end of the UN Decade on Biological Diversity.
OISCA has been tackling the conservation of biodiversity on the whole earth through various projects. As one of the Green Wave Official Partners, OISCA intends to strengthen cooperation with Japanese government agencies and make further contribution in Japan and other countries.
※“Building squares of TSUMIKI: Wood blocks” : It is a program that communicates clearly the importance of forest to children by using wood blocks made from thinned wood.
From children to adults, resident-oriented reforestation
In the Philippines which is an island country, we put effort on planting mangroves, sea forest. The mangroves that children raised, not only protect the communities from strong wind and high waves, but also help improve the livelihood of the community residents with ecosystem becoming rich and fish catches increasing.
With such visible results, the tree planting activity mainly by the children has developed into the community’s independent activity spreading into neighboring villages. Of course, we can not do it overnight and we believe that to work patiently and to build a relationship of trust is the key to success. Using these cases as model, we intend to spread resident-oriented reforestation in the future.
For this fiscal year, the OISCA – CFP National Workshop was held in OTTAA Nueva Vizcaya Reforestation Project in Brgy. Kirang, Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya on the 27th to the 30th of November. Participants from 12 provinces in the country attended the said workshop.102 participants composed of 50 elementary pupils, 9 high schools, 24 teachers, and 19 OISCA coordinators, volunteers and resource speakers gathered to celebrate yet another national workshop with another exciting and educational theme. Guided by the theme “Today’s Youth: Enhancement of Biodiversity Conservation Efforts and Carbon Sequestration Potential Appreciation” together with our reliable resource speakers the Workshop went by without a hitch.
On the first day, registration of participants and rooms were assigned prior to the start of the program proper. Around 10 AM, the OISCA – CFP National Workshop started with Sir Jerson F. Donasco, from DepEd Sagay, Negros Occidental as the host. After the singing of the national anthem of the Philippines and Japan, the Welcoming Remarks were delivered by Mr. Mario G. Lopez, Project Manager of the OTTAA Nueva Vizcaya Reforestation Project followed by a message from the new Secretary-General of OISCA International, Mr. Fumio Kitsuki which was delivered by Ms. Maribeth N. Reboton, director of OISCA Manila Office. Sir Roger Z. Rochar, Education Supervisor of the DepEd Sagay facilitated the roll call of participants along with their cheers about their respective regions followed by the overview of the workshop and house rules to be observed during their stay. This was followed by the review of last year’s National Workshop, presentation of Accomplished Action Plan by CFP Palawan provincial coordinator, sharing of CFP experience from Sir Bernie F. Valdoria of Mamala Integrated School, Quezon and Sir Joel Lyndon R. Panginen of E. Pesa Elementary School, Nueva Ecija, presentation of OISCA activities in the Philippines, testimonial of Sir Mark R. Peralta and sharing of learning experience of Chersey and Clifton, the CFP Goodwill Ambassadors for the year 2019, and finally the presentation of background of the OTTAA Nueva Vizcaya Reforestation Project.
On the afternoon, Sir Nelson M. Pampolina, Associate Professor 4 in the Department of Forest Biological Sciences, UPLB-CFNR took the stage for his part on the workshop proper. He started on the leveling off of expectations of the participants. He started with these five (5) questions: (1) Why do we need to learn; (2) What are the things you want to learn; (3) What have you discovered when you arrived; (4) What living thing stricken you the most; and (5) How will you share your discovery when you go home. These questions were followed by lessons they will learn and the actions they will take towards these questions. Then, the participants were divided into 5 groups. The groups were apoy (fire), tubig (water), hangin (wind), mundo (earth), and kapwa (spirit). Next was a lecture about the genesis of life and biodiversity. He also presented pictures of different organisms to the participants. Then, the 5 groups were tasked to make infographics using roots, bark, twigs, leaves and seeds. The participants had their dinner and readied their selves for the presentation of their cultures in forms of dances, songs, beatboxing, and through poems.
On the second day, a recap of activities was given by selected participants, singing of nationalistic songs and warm up activities. It was followed by the continuation of Sir Nelson’s workshop proper. He gave a presentation regarding the instruments that the participants will be using in the afternoon for their biodiversity survey. Instruments include the diameter and meter tapes, compass, GPS device, light intensity meter, soil pH meter, and straw string. It was then followed by a nature walk around the Reforestation project and the planting of 200 Pterocarpus indicus (Narra) seedlings. It took the group around two (2) hours to walk and collects materials for their group infographic’s designing around the reforestation project.
On the afternoon, the group proceeded to different ecosystems (aquatic, shrub land, natural forest, fruit plantation, and mahogany plantation) depending on their groups. The groups established one (1) 5x5 meter and one (1) 1x1 meter plots using the meter tapes and straw strings. After that, participants were given forms where they will record their observations. They inventoried living things found inside the plots like plants, animals, and fungi. Plants with diameters greater than 5 cm were classified as trees and plants less than 5 cm were noted as shrubs. Their numbers and other observations were recorded. Soil temperature, light intensity and climate on different ecosystems were recorded using the different instruments brought by Sir Nelson. Participants also collected leaves from plants to preserve them as herbarium specimens with the use of tags and old magazines. After their fieldwork, participants cleaned and organized their data and computed for different diversity indices while snacks were being served. After that, Ms. Fe T. Nadado from Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) presented a background about PNVSCA. After dinner, the groups presented their infographics made from materials assigned to them found around the reforestation project. This was followed by a simple activity where participants wrote things started with “#I thought”, “#Now I realize”, and “#I will” about the theme of the workshop on cardboards.
On the final day, a recap was given by selected participants, singing of nationalistic songs and energizer activities after breakfast. Since the weather was perfect, a team building activities prepared by Sir Jerson were conducted outdoor. This activity showed good teamwork among members of the group. Everybody enjoyed it. It was followed by the presentation of their activities on “#I thought”, “#Now I realize”, and “#I will” and their inventory data facilitated by Sir Roger and Sir Nelson, respectively. After the conclusion of activities was given by our amazing resource speakers, post test was given. The activity includes a ball attached with 10 questions from the discussed points during the span of the workshop; music was played and while it was playing, participants passes the ball until the music stops. The one who had the ball will then answer the question attached to it. Next was awarding of prizes to the highest pointers among the groups. Followed by the closing program started with the impressions given by selected participants, followed by the challenge by Ms. Maribeth N. Reboton to the participants which was accepted by selected teacher-participant and pupil-participant from NCR and Benguet. The closing message was given by Mr. Mario Lopez. It was followed by the presentation of certificates. After lunch, the participants went their own ways to share their leanings in their respective provinces.
The warmth of the Japanese people is still the same
Every year, OISCA conducts a unique project named “Children’s Goodwill Ambassadors” under the Children’s Forest Program (CFP) inviting to Japan a few children from the Asian and Pacific countries for visiting various places related to forest development and environmental conservation as well as for carrying out exchange activities with Japanese children.
In October 2018, Mr. Jan Lester Bisco, a Filipino who is now working as a financial analyst in a communications company in Manila, visited Japan for the first time in 18 years.
When he was 10-years old 6th grader at the local elementary school in Ilocos del Sur Province, the Northern Luzon Island, Mr. Bisco was selected as one of the CFP Children’s Goodwill Ambassadors to visit Japan. It was his first overseas trip and he was greatly excited over that experience.
While in Japan, together with other participants, he visited various places in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Kagoshima and was exposed to the different culture and food. All those memories are still deeply engraved in his heart and mind.
What was the most memorable thing was the encounter with Japanese people. At that time, he was still a young country boy and was feeling quite nervous when he first arrived in Japan. He and the other participants were warmly welcomed by the OISCA staff, members and supporters everywhere.
The Japanese children at the school the Children’s Ambassadors visited tried their best to warmly receive the visitors in their class room. The children ate school lunch and played all together. The Japanese children tried to communicate by gesture in order to overcome the language barrier. Although it was the first meeting with the Japanese children, he felt as if they were long time close friends.
Another unforgettable memory was home stay with a Japanese family in Kagoshima. He was warmly treated there. He really felt as if he were a member of the family. They took him to hot springs and taught him manner at the public bathhouse. He learnt different Japanese culture and customs.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the experience in Japan has had a tremendous impact on his growth in the subsequent 18 years.
It was his strong desire to re-visit Japan for meeting the host family again. He saved money for that purpose. One day, he happened to get on line a discounted air ticket between Manila and Fukuoka. He thought Fukuoka was close to Kagoshima where his host family live. He wanted to get in touch with the host family, but he had not contacted them since the first visit 18 years ago.
So he contacted the OISCA staff in charge of CFP at the Headquarters by SNS explaining that he was once a CFP Children’s Goodwill Ambassador and he was coming back to Japan for having a reunion with his former host family and also sending the old photos taken during the program 18 years ago. The staff replied that they would help him realize his wish.
As his departure for Japan was approaching, however, there was no subsequent information as to the whereabouts of the host family, and he was almost losing hope. Then, he got informed by the OISCA staff that Ms. Lina Tiam, OISCA staff who accompanied the Children’s Ambassadors group to visit Kagoshima at that time, is now working at the OISCA Nishi-Nippon Training Center in Fukuoka Prefecture. So he immediately contacted her.
On October 1, 2018, he fulfilled his long standing dream of visiting Japan again. He was very delighted to be reunited with Ms. Lina Tiam at the Training Center in Fukuoka.
When he first met her there, he was a small boy, but now he was far taller than her in height. He was also warmly welcomed again by other staff of the Center.
Regrettably, however, he could not meet the host family again on the second visit. The OISCA members and other people in Kagoshima tried their best to locate the family. It was found out that the family had moved to some other place and it was not possible for him to go there.
Now, he has another big dream. That is to visit Japan one more time and to meet the host family for expressing his deep appreciation for the hospitality extended to him 18 years ago.
He feels that he is CFP Children’s Goodwill Ambassador forever. He is always thankful for the CFP activities and the unforgettable memories and experiences gained in Japan.
My name is Marie , and I go to Magapuy Elementary School in Nueva Vizcaya. I’m living in an agricultural place with wide rice and cornfield. Surround of My house is the beauty of the green color of rice and corn so I’m very proud of this beauty of my place and I’m also proud that my “Furusato (home town)” is a place where there is always a good harvest of rice and corn.
My dream is a successful Agriculturist. So, I want to try to start organic gardening in my backyard, and someday I want to develop to organic gardening to organic rice production
Let’s grow up with seedlings
The Tugunan Elementary school is a small school, and has 79 students. The school location is very much struggling especially in transportation because of unpaved roadway, so OISCA’s coordinators need to walk 3hours to reach this school. The school decided to start OISCA’s Children’s Forest Program (CFP) activities, because teachers hope to make the opportunities for children to think about the environmental preservation.
In 2017, students planted 200 seeds of Molave
around the school building. Molave is sturdy wood, so it is used constructions
and furniture. Recently, the number of Molave is decreasing in the Philippines,
because people cut down the trees. That day of CFP acitivity, not only students
but also parents and teachers participated to the tree planting activities. One of the teacher said “I was
impressed by students enjoyed planting seedlings. We keep tree maintenance and
think importance of environmental safeguards ”.
・Starting Year of CFP: 2016
・Number of Students: 79
・Location:Tugunan, Katipunan,Nabunturan, Comval Province
The opportunity to realize the plentiful of diversity
The Kimmalaba Elementary School decided to start OISCA’s Children’s Forest Program (CFP) activities in 2008, and now various fruit trees which children planted have grown well in the school ground. In 2017, children planted 100 seedlings mainly native tree species, and continue to care them. Moreover, Children enjoyed studying the importance of caring their surrounding environment. Students tried to handicraft using recycled materials. They got wildly excited about making new products out of garbage.
Through the CFP activities, students areencouraged environmental friendly little by little. And, students appreciate tonature and people, because it is not only learning importance of keepingenvironment, but also learning how to grow up vegetables and fruits. Students startto aware about the importance of respecting for differences among peopleregarding ethnicity, gender age, abilities, and family structures. The simpleact of planting trees holds sustaining our communities and the environment byvarious ways.
・Starting Year of CFP : 2008
・Number of Students : 123
・Location : Kimmalaba Dolores, Abra
OISCA members, CFP school's students and many friends participated actively in the Green Wave 2018!
The Green Wave is a global biodiversity campaign to educate children and youth about biodiversity. Towards 2020, last year of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (2011-2020), the United Nations has been appealing more vigorously for its promotion worldwide.
On March 13, 2018, OISCA, together with 7 other Japanese organizations, was appointed as Green Wave Official Partner by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment and Japan Committee for the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (UNDB-J) in Tokyo. The appointment is thanks to OISCA’s contribution and international collaboration for implementing the Green Wave activities.
In Japan, “Green Wave Asakura Water Source Forest Development” in Fukuoka Prefecture held on March 11 spearheaded OISCA’s Green Wave activities of the year. A total of 140 participants including trainees at the OISCA Nishi Nippon Training Center planted wild cherry trees, Forsythia and other species.
Moreover, at the site of the Coastal Forest Restoration Project in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, this year’s volunteer activities started on April 21. The participants numbering 124 persons carried out such field work as making drainage. At the planting site, it has become possible to observe various animals and plants. According to a survey conducted by the Forestry Agency last year, it has been confirmed that 337 plant species, 278 insect species and 43 bird species are inhabiting in the area. Thus, the project has been proven to be contributing to the recovery of biodiversity.
Tree planting and silvicultural activities were also carried out mainly by CFP participating schools in various foreign countries. In Mongolia, the children who visited Japan as CFP Children’s Goodwill Ambassadors are leading the activities and at a school in Bulgan Province, they planted on May 7 Mongolian cherry, acacia and other tree species. They visited other schools in Ulaanbaatar, the Capital City and Erdent City and carried out planting activities with school children.
In Uzbekistan which is tackling anti-desertification, 20 students at Nukus Branch School of Tashkent Agricultural University and 22 members of NPO “Greengrassroots” from Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture who visited the country as volunteers planted 5,000 seedlings of Saxaul tree. It was the first planting using the seedlings raised at the school.
OISCA, ever since having concluded a cooperative agreement with the Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010, has been tackling the conservation of biodiversity on the whole earth through various projects. In the future, as one of the Green Wave Official Partners, OISCA intends to strengthen cooperation with Japanese government agencies and make further contribution in Japan and other countries.
・Indonesia （report１/ report２/ report３/ report４/ report５/ report６/ report７/ report８/ report９/ report10/ report11/ report12/ report13/ report14/ report15/ report16/ report17/ report18/ report19/ report20/ report21/ report22/ report23/ report24/ report25/ report26/ report27/ report28/ report29/ report30/ report31/ report32/ report33/ report34/ report35/ report36/ report37/ report38/ report39/ report40/ report41/ report42/ report43/ report44/ report45/ report46/ report47/ report48/ report49/ report50/ report51/ report52/ report53/ report54/ report55/ report56/ report57/ report58/ report59/ report60/ report61/ report62/ report63/ report64/ report65/ report66/ report67/ report68/ report69/ report70/ report71/ report72/ report73/ report74/ report75/ report76/ report77/ report78/ report79/ report80/ report81/ report82/ report83/ report84/ report85/ report86/ report87/ report88）
・Philippines （report1/ report2/ report3/ report4/ report5/ report6/ report7/ report8/ report9/ report10/ report11/ report12/ report13/ report14/ report15/ report16/ report17/ report18/ report19/ report20/ report21/ report22/ report23/ report24/ report25/ report26/ report27/ report28/ report29/ report30/ report31/ report32/ report33/ report34/ report35/ report36/ report37/ report38/ report39/ report40/ report41/ report42/ report43/ report44/ report45/ report46/ report47/ report48/ report49/ report50/ report51）
・Hong Kong （report１/ report２/ report３/ report４/ report５/ report６/ report７/ report８/ report９/ report10/ report11/ report12/ report13/ report14/ report15/ report16/ report17/ report18/ report19/ report20/ report21/ report22/ report23/ report24/）
2018 CFP Children’s GoodwillAmbassadors
-Philippine and Thai Children’s Goodwill Ambassadors visited Japan, deepened learning and pledged promoting CFP activities
From June 4 to 13, OISCA invited
to Japan a total of 6 persons, 2 school children and a coordinator each from Abra Province, the Philippines and Khon Kaen Province, Thailand under the Children’s Forest Program (CFP). They visited Japanese supporting companies for exchange activities and observed various efforts for environmental conservation in Tokyo, Saitama Prefecture, Hokkaido and Miyagi Prefecture.
In Tokyo, the visitors were divided into two groups and visited the private corporations which are supporting the respective countries. They came to know how their activities are supported by the Japanese supporters and were highly motivated for further promoting activities after returning home.
Moving to Hokkaido, the Children’s Goodwill Ambassadors and coordinators visited “Ecorin Village” located in Eniwa City and
participated in the Green Wave activity. They first received a lecture on the present situation of forests in Hokkaido and the role of forests supporting biodiversity in order to deepen understanding on sustainable forest development. Afterwards, they did such field works as carrying out thinning trees and firewood splitting under the guidance of the Hokkaido Forest Volunteers Association. Although it was a chilly day, they enjoyed the exchangesession with about 50 high school and university students coming from various parts of Hokkaido.
The visiting group commented: “we are surprised to find how different the forests here are from the ones in our country” and “we now understand that it is important, not only to plant trees, but also to take care and maintain them by thinning and replanting.” It turned out a useful opportunity to learn that steady maintenance activities would lead to the conservation of forests rich in diversity.
In Miyagi Prefecture, they had an opportunity to observe the site of the “Coastal Forest Restoration Project” which is now underway on the coastal area of Natori City. Mr. Rap Rodriguez, one of the Filipino children, who has experienced mangrove planting in his own country, said: “I now understand that we can protect many
lives from natural disasters by raising coastal forests. After going back home,
I would like to try my best with friends in carrying out CFP activities.”In the future, the OISCA Headquarters intends to make a follow-up, so that the Children’s Goodwill Ambassadors who have deepened learning in the various parts of Japan would be able to lead activities at school and community after returning to their home country.
Just joined CFP !
This school is located in Compostela Valley Province located in the southeastern part of Mindanao Island, Southern Philippines. The school decided to start CFP activities in 2016 in the hope that the students would be able to have a better place of studying and playing, and also trees would give them clean air to breathe.
Ms. Lyka Lanugan, 9-years old pupil, said with smiles that they were thankful for the activities especially tree planting because it could protect them from natural calamities such as
floods and landslides. A school teacher said: “We have just joined CFP, but school children can have time to think about the community and global environment. We feel that the whole school has
been revitalized in being united for the sole purpose of protecting forests. It seems that the children spend more time in nature. I, myself, have realized the beauty and blessings of nature. We
are very grateful to those who are supporting our activities.”
Recycling activities enriching imagination
This school is located on Palawan Island, Southwestern part of the Philippines. It is along the highway, but the beautiful sea is nearby. Around the school which joined CFP in 1997, there are growing trees planted by school children. Some years ago, they experienced floods due to heavy rains, but the grown trees mitigated the disaster damage.
In 2016, they planted Mahogany trees, suited to the soil of the area and familiar to school children. They learned how to love and take care of the trees they planted. Also, they have tackled making handcrafts utilizing trash to learn recycling. The school teachers said: “Recycling is good for the students. It really changes their insight and attitude. We could see their perseverance and interest in one activity.”
Japanese University Students Undergo Practical Training in Agriculture at OISCA Projects Sites Abroad
This autumn, two groups of Japanese university students interested in international cooperation carried out field training in agriculture in the Philippines and Fiji. From September 15 to 22, 5 students from the Faculty of International Agriculture and Food Studies, Tokyo University of Agriculture, went to the Philippines for practical training at OISCA Abra Agro-Forestry Training Center located in Northern Luzon. They experienced grafting of tropical fruit trees, taking care of farm animals such as hogs, cows, goats and chicken, fertilizer application in rice paddies and vegetable seeding. They also had exchange activities with children at the local schools participating in the OISCA Children’s Forest Program (CFP).
During the same period, 18 students led by Professor Shunshi Matsuzono from the Faculty of Regional Development Studies, Toyo University, experienced planting of mangrove trees and agriculture in Fiji. Professor Matsumoto has been continually organizing field training for students in Fiji for more than 10 years.
This sort of practical field experiences serve the Japanese youth in promoting their international understanding and also contribute to the development of human resources playing an active role in various fields. Meanwhile, the local staff and residents on their part get a great stimulation through associating with the visiting young Japanese students.
Children from all over the Philippines participated in the National Workshop 2015
The National Workshop 2015 of the Children’s Forest Program (CFP) was held in Nueva Vizcaya Province on February 15-17, 2015. A total of 105 people including children participating in the CFP, school teachers and coordinators from all over the country, came over to take part in the workshop. Under the main theme: “Being a Catalyst of Change in the Community: 21st Century Skills and Youth”, lectures by coordinators and specialists and also other programs such as nature observation, environment poster-making, nature games were conducted.
In the nature observation, profiling plants, experiencing seedlings making and nature games carried out in groups, the children mutually cooperated and learnt from each other. They enjoyed fully
utilizing their body and sense and realized the importance of protecting and nurturing the surrounding nature.
In addition to programs utilizing the ancient scrip and traditional musical instruments of the Philippines, the traditional cultures such as dances and songs from the respective regions were also presented by the children. There are different regional languages and cultures in the Philippines. One of the objectives of the workshop was to take pride in their own regional cultures and also to learn the importance of accepting and respecting the diverse cultures.
In the Philippines where natural disasters are increasing year after year and the environmental problems are developing more serious, they are making efforts to promote environmental education
and develop leadership in youth. It is expected that the participants who have learnt biological diversity and cultural diversity will be strong leaders and promote various activities in the
The “Green Wave Asakura 2014-Students Environment Forum” was held on May 25, 2014 at the P-port Amagi in Asakura City, Fukuoka Prefecture. Four school children from India and the Philippines, who are participating in the Children’s Forest Program (CFP), visited Japan as “Children’s Goodwill Ambassadors” and made reports on their activities at the conference. The Indian Goodwill Ambassadors stated that with the increase in population, there have been growing environmental problems and natural disasters, and appealed for the importance of forests in solving the problems. Also, they reported on tree planting and trash collection carried on at school for protecting forests and environmental workshops. Moreover, they presented pictures showing how the wastelands turned into green spaces, and the audience was quite impressed by the positive results.
From the local side, 7 junior and senior high schools took part in the forum and made presentations on various activities for the environmental protection and efforts for regional revitalization. The Japanese, Filipino and Indian children were earnestly listening to the reports made by their colleagues. Although they are from different cultural backgrounds, they seemed to share a common sentiment for protecting the same “FURUSATO”. The forum turned out to be a valuable opportunity to foster common awareness for taking an appropriate action on the protection of the “FURUSATO” and the earth.
On May 23, 2014, a report meeting entitled “Natural disaster and children’s challenges (Our forests protected our villages – Typhoon Heiyan Disaster in the Philippines and disaster mitigation effect of global tree planting activities” was held at the GEOC (Global Environment Outreach Centre) of the United Nations University in Tokyo. On this occasion, a group of Indian and Filipino children participating in the Children’s Forest Program (CFP) visited Japan for making presentations on their activities as CFP Goodwill Ambassadors.
The Filippino children came from the area devastated by the large-scale typhoon Heiyan in November 2013. They reported on the disaster situation and told that the damage was mitigated by the mangroves planted under the CFP and the trees raised under the CFP were utilized as timber for disaster recovery. They appealed for the importance of protecting and nurturing forests.
Also, Mr. Keisuke Katori, a journalist of Japan’s daily newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun, who had conducted a field survey of the Typhoon Heiyan jointly with OISCA, was invited as guest speaker. He reported on the disaster situations in the various areas and explained about the scale of the damage inflicted on the local residents.
On their part, the Indian children reported about the various environmental problems facing India, presented photos on the successful greening of wastelands though the CFP efforts and emphasized the importance of tree planting.
The meeting was attended by people from various walks of life ranging from students to office workers. They enjoyed the event held in a cozy atmosphere and tasted rare confections brought from India and the Philippines. At the end of the program, the Indian and Filipino children wearing their national costumes presented traditional dances of the respective countries.
From the audience, there were strong voices in support of the children’s messages to plant and nurture trees for the future of their villages and to protect the green earth. We would like to closely pay attention to the children’s activities after going back home.
November 2013, super typhoon Haiyan hit Bisaya area, Philippines and claimed so many lives and caused great damage to farm land, forest and fishing grounds. Schools which used to join CFP in Leyte Island, Negros Island and Panay Island and the forest that children have been taking care of were also damaged. On the other hand, we could hear that local people telling “Damages to the villages by the rain storm and tidal waves were mitigated because of the forest”, “The fully grown trees helped us to build temporary school buildings which replaced the completely destroyed ones”.
In recent years, we have an increasing number of reports that schools and villages had been damaged by the natural disaster resulted from abnormal weather. Local forest planting activities lead to not only preventing flood and landslide but also mitigating disasters' damages and promoting regional recovery. It is needed to promote this activity in order to make children recognize the role of nature and take the initiative in planting and preservation activity. Moreover, we need to promote the activity for the development of the disaster-resistant villages.
Even though school is out, children are still eager to learn about the environment. In Abra, Luzon, Philippines, more than 20 children run to the Abra Training Center to learn how to fill pots, sow seeds and plant tree saplings!
900 Pots are filled with organic compost made of goat dung, rice charcoal and top soil. Seeds of Mahogany, Moringa and Gemilina were collected by each child in their own backyard.
10 mango trees were planted!
Children also played games like "Pass the ENGLISH word" and Tsumiki building contest!
Our own Angela, from OISCA USA, joined in on the Summer Camp activities. Within the two days, the children and Angela created a great friendship.
In September 2011, this region was hit by a large-scale typhoon and sustained serious damage. Fortunately, Macabaclay Elementary School and the pupils were all safe. The region was also hit by a typhoon in 2004, and it has become an urgent task to conserve the environment in order to reduce disaster damage. In the Children’s Forest Program, we are teaching the children that environment conservation activities will lead to the prevention and reduction of damage by natural disasters like typhoons.
In environment education classes, when we ask the pupils about immediate environmental problems, they quickly raise “illegal logging”, “slash-and-burn”, “illegal hunting of wild animals”, “wildfire”, etc. The children, who are clearly aware of the problems facing their community and have learnt countermeasures, are determined to improve the destruction of nature and develop “FURUSATO comfortable to live when they are grown up.
●Start Year：1995 ●No. of Children：385人 ●Address：Barangay Macabaclay, Bongabon, Nueva Ecija
In early December in which the Christmas season started, a Christmas card making contest was held at Ariendo Elementary School, and pupils from grade 1 to grade 6 participated. The children taking part in the recycling campaign through CFP activities, tackled card-making by utilizing old wrapping papers, newspapers and natural materials such as tree leaves and flowers. The cards the children wholeheartedly made all looked splendid, and the teachers had great difficulties in ranking. Rey-Marie, a grade-6 pupil who got the first prize, was very pleased. “Today, I was looking forward to this contest from early morning. I was little worried if I could make it well. I am very happy to get the first prize.”
In the recent years, the Philippine government introduced the concept of “autonomous school management” which leaves management responsibilities to schools. Each school is now promoting school management rooted in the community. The environmental education activities like recycling that OISCA is carrying out forms part of this movement. Through CFP, we are promoting various activities by devising environmental education program suitable to the community environment and working together with schools and local communities.
●Start Year：2008年 ●No. of Children：187 ●Address：Barangay Ariendo, Bongabon, Nueva Ecija
A day at San Nicolas Elementary School starts with cleaning the school grounds. The children, who learned about the environmental protection through CFP, are now willingly picking up and separating garbage. Almost every day, the children are cheerfully running around on the cleaned school grounds. Recently, football (soccer) is getting popular among the Filipino children. Football games held in Manila between the Philippine national team and foreign national teams are now widely covered by television and newspapers, and the popularity of football is also increasing in the province.
The CFP coordinators, when they visit the schools, are often asked by the children to teach football. After fully playing football, we take a break under the trees planted through CFP and realize the importance of trees. In this healthy natural environment, raising children who are sound in both mind and body, and the children transmitting the importance of nature to next generations, this is precisely the ideal that CFP aims at.
●Start Year：2000 ●No of Children：240 ●Address：San Nicolas, Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte
The children with ear-to-ear smiles are flying paper airplanes. The paper airplanes are made of handmade papers from the indigenous cogon grasses. Cogon grasses have been treated as a nuisance because they cover plantations and arable lands, deprive the nutrients of the soil and sometimes cause wildfire. People have studied ways of utilizing the grasses and came to invent handmade paper. Cogon grass papers have a distinctive touch, and are processed into postcards, letter papers, envelopes, lamp shades, etc.
Handmade paper-making, leading to the reduction of troublesome weeds and also as a source of income, has become one of the industries in Mindanao. In OISCA Mindanao Echotech Center, too, we are teaching paper-making to the local residents and are making cards with the children at CFP schools.
At Jose Hamoy Elementary School, Children’s Forest Program was held. The children, after having played with Tsumiki No Hiroba (Environmental Education through Wooden Blocks), folded paper airplanes with Cogon grass papers. The children fly and chase paper airplanes on the school ground. They repeat it again, again. It is hoped that they will grow up without forgetting the warmth of woods and the tenderness of handmade papers.
●Start Year：1994 ●No. of Children：110人 ●Address：igabe, Pinan, Zamboanga Del Norte
Mr. Reynaldo Bisnar, the Assistant Coordinator of CFP in Davao has been working with OISCA since 1992. For almost 21 years, he has been working and dealing with the CFP school management and school children to promote the importance of environmental conservation and protection.
Rey along with the other CFP Coordinators of the Philippines has been joining the empowerment training workshops and seminars organized by OISCA Manila. These include project management trainings, receiving lectures from the experts in field of sustainable farming and actual visits to farms and training centers that promote organic farming. CFP Coordinators like Mr. Bisnar are expected to impart the skills, knowledge and technical know how acquired from the empowerment training.
Rey is conducting hands on training on grafting particularly of fruit bearing trees like mangoes, vermin culture and other sustainable way of farming among the students. Through these activities, he is encouraging the students to be involved in terms of preventing the environment from further destruction.
Rey is grateful that he is part of the OISCA`s commitment of creating a better world to live in. The sense of fulfillment he is feeling after the environmental education sessions with the students knowing that he had managed to affect their lives and changed their mindset towards environmental conservation inspired him to strive more and be more committed to what he is doing.
OISCA has been organizing greeting cards making to the CFP schools to be sent to the CFP supporters in Japan. The greeting cards designed by the students are usually hand painted or presented in collage or mosaic art made from indigenous and recyclable materials available in their area.
The process of making greeting cards encourages the students to encourage and motivate the students to be artistic and express themselves through art. The activity also promotes the development of the interpersonal and cognitive skills of the students as they interact with the other students their age while participating in the event.
Among the CFP students of Haguimitan Elementary School who excels and represents the school in the greeting card making is the Grade six student Greg P. Pimentel. He said that he appreciates much better the environment after attending the Art Workshop organized by OISCA under the Children Forest Program. He said that when working with his artworks, he often draws inspiration from the environment surrounding him especially the growing trees planted within the school premises.
Greg is one of the CFP students who are expected to graduate from school this March. Equipped with knowledge and hands-on experience in environmental conservation from two years of participating to the CFP activities, Greg is confident and proud to leave the school because he is aware that in his own little way he managed to contribute to the environment and he will be leaving a good legacy among the younger batches.
●Start Year：1998年 ●No. of Children：265 Children ●Address：Brgy. Haguimitan, Monkayo, Province of Compostela Valley
OISCA has been supporting the Padre Burgos Central School through the CFP activities since 2007. One of the students who directly benefitted from CFP activities is Marc Dewey Angelo or Gelo to his friends. Gelo has been actively participating to the CFP activities of OISCA within and outside his school including tree planting, proper waste management and organic farming. Gelo is one of the core members of the committee that works on monitoring the planted trees under the CFP in his school.
In order to have a deeper understanding on the importance of environmental conservation and protection, Gelo is one of the selected few students who is lucky enough to participate in the Eco and Youth Camp organized by OISCA-Philippines in various parts of the Philippines. It created the opportunity for Gelo and the other participants to be exposed thereby increasing their inter-personal skills as they interact with each other.
●Start Year：2007 ●No. of Children：1,355 Children ●Address：Padre Burgos, Quezon
The OISCA Children’s Forest Program (CFP) Quezon Chapter conducted a Seminar and Eco Camp last August 17-18, 2011 at OISCA Sariaya Pilot Project in Brgy. Sampaloc 1, Sariaya, Quezon. The CFP Seminar and Eco Camp was implemented with the cooperation of the Department of Education, the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer, and the local Barangay Officials. The activity, with the theme “Sustainable and Eco Friendly School”, was attended by a total of 60 participants from 12 schools consisting of students and school coordinators, community members and Barangay Officials.
CFP Quezon is one of the pioneers of Organic Farming in Quezon and the main lecturer, Oisca Lucban T. C Mrs. Sylvia Balag is an authority in Organic farming having gained extensive experience through OISCA CFP. Mrs. Balag and her husband, Larry are frequently invited to provide lectures not only in different parts of the Philippine but also in other parts of Asia. The provincial government also showcases the OISCA CFP Sariaya Pilot Project and Farm to visitors from South East Asia as a model of successful organic farm. The OISCA CFP Farm staffed by Volunteers Coordinator, Project Leader Garry de Veluz , Mark Racelis, Oisca Ex trainee.
The CFP Seminar and Eco Camp was a venue to inform the community and make them aware of what is happening to our environment and the world we live in today. The different issues concerning the environment and ways of saving the environment were also discussed. The Eco Camp also encouraged the shift to responsible and organic farming.
The activity stressed the benefits and sustainability of natural farming technologies. The benefits of organic farming like increase in production and income, safety of food, and improvement of land for future generations were stressed during the activity. There were lectures and hands-on demonstration in making fermented fertilizers like Fermented to visitors Juice (FPJ), Fermented Fruit Juice (FFJ), Fish Amino Acids (FAA), Indigenous Micro Organism (IMO), Calcium Phosphate, and Vermi Tea. A short visit to Agri-Tourism Exposition 2011 at Perez Park in Lucena City was also arranged so that the participants will be able to see the different organic products from the different towns in Quezon Province.
All the participants expressed gratitude to CFP for the very productive two day Seminar and Eco Camp. They promised to share with their classmates, parents and their community, whatever they have learned from CFP.
Four schools in the Capalonga Region, namely Catalino Gonzales Elementary School, Sotero Mago Elementary School, Lucbanan Elementary School, Esturas-Nabata Elentary School, started CFP activities.
On December 19, 2011, the CFP inaugural ceremony was jointly held at Sotero Mago Elementary School. The children and teachers of the four schools, village officials and family members of the children participated in the ceremony.
Following the ceremony, commemorative tree-planting was carried out. Around the trees planted by the children, the family members firmly put fences so that the trees would not be trampled by wild animals. Through these activities, not only environment conservation awareness was raised, but also family ties were strengthened. In future, we would like to further promote CFP activities thanking many people who are supporting us.
Ramon Magsaysay Elementary School is one of OISCA CFP supported school. CFP has provided the school with training on environmental protection and proper waste disposal. The school observe segregation of school trash and applies the environmental principles of 3Rs (Re-use, reduce, recycle).
The school has encouraged the use of paper charcoals made from used paper products which they have learned from OISCA. The children also applied in their homes what they have learned from the trainings and environmental education provided by OISCA.
Paper charcoals are made by soaking waste paper overnight and forming it into fist size balls which are left to dry in the sun. Paper charcoal serves as a good alternative fuel for cooking. Encouraging the use of paper charcoal as cooking alternative is a good practice. Waste papers that would otherwise end up in landfills are given new use as cooking medium. This will alsohelp reduce dependence on forest wood for cooking. Since this is made out of used paper materials, this is inexpensive and can be done by every household anytime. It does not produce soot like ordinary charcoals.
A few pieces of these paper charcoals can be used for cooking and is very ideal to use during rainy season. The school’s scout members enjoyed using the charcoal during camping and during picnics.
●Start Year：1996 ●No. of Children:269 children ●Address: RAMON MAGSAYSAY, ABORLAN, PALAWAN
Reydenn Grace Tundan or Grace as she is called by her friends is a grade 6 pupil of Manaile Elementary School. She is one of several active participants of OISCA Children’s Forest Program in the school. Grace shared that she used to be indifferent of what is happening in the environment. She often heard at home and school that people should seriously take care of the environment. She was told not to litter and burn plastic and garbage. She does not take seriously the signs she sees in public places about throwing garbage.
After attending the seminar workshops organized by OISCA CFP, Grace now sport a different attitude towards the environment. She found the lectures simple and yet profound that it touched her heart as well as the other participant’s. From being someone that is oblivious about what is happening in the environment, Grace has become a true champion of the environment.
Through CFP she had attended seminars, coastal and river cleanup activities. She had learned from OISCA CFP that aside from learning how to take care of the environment, it is also important that the knowledge learned should also be shared to the other youths who still do not respect and protect the environment. She also learned that small actions like proper waste disposal would positively impact the environment.
Every year, Grace participates in her school’s tree planting activities. She was also happy to participate in a global activity like Green Wave. She liked the idea of participating in a synchronized planting activity that is happening not only in her school but also in different parts of the Philippines and the world.
Reydenn Grace hopes that all youth will stop destroying the environment and will all work together towards protecting it.
●Start Year：2006 ●No. of Children：79 children ●Address：Manaile, Dumanguena, Narra, Palawan
Buong Elementary School first opened in 1967 but was closed during Martial Law in the 70s. The school again opened in June 1989. The school is located at the foot of the mountain of Barangay Dumaguena about 18 kilometers away from the national highway of Ochentay Uno, Narra Palawan. 90% of the population are Tagbanua tribe members. Buong opened a 6th grade this school year 2011-2012. For a long time, Buong Elementary is an incomplete elementary school offering classes up to 5th grade in multi-grade classes supervised by two permanent teachers. Buong Elementary School is one of OISCA CFP Palawan supported school.
On October 2011, OISCA-CFP Palawan Coordinator introduced the use of banana leaves as pot in raising seedlings for the school’s organic vegetable garden. Using banana leaves a seedling pots is a new concept. After the CFP Coordinator had shown how to create seedling pots out of banana leaves, the students gathered banana leaves and decided to make seedling pots.
It was observed that banana leaves make good seedling pots. It lasts until the seedlings are ready for transplanting. There is no need to remove the pot when transplanting because the pot itself could be used as fertilizer since it has potassium that are essential for plant growth and fruit bearing. Banana leaves are abundant in the town and are commonly utilized only as food wrapper. It is very seldom used for vegetable seedlings and mushroom beds. The students were very surprised to learn that it is a good seedling pot. The students have taught their parents to create seedling pots with banana leaves instead of burning them which is prohibited by the law.
●Start Year：2011 ●No. of Children：59 children ● Address：Sitio Buong, Barangay Dumaguena, Narra, Palawan
More than 100 students, teachers, parents and local government officials of Barangay Careb in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya welcomed the arrival of the Japan Energy Chemistry (JEC) on October 11, 2011. Holding both Philippine and Japan flag and drums and xylophone, the students and other welcoming committee lined along the road in front of Careb Elementary School in order to recognize the coming of the Japanese visitors.
JEC, a Union Group with members working in the different companies in Japan has been supporting the Children Forest Program of OISCA. The members of the Union have been visiting the CFP schools to be involved in the actual implementation of the environmental conservation efforts of OISCA.
Other than participating in the tree planting activities, the Union members also joined in the cultural exchange program organized to strengthen the good relationship between the Japanese supporters and local beneficiaries. During the cultural exchange program, the Japanese visitors showed the students the art of folding papers or origami and in return the students sought the help of the visitors in cutting the non-biodegradable plastics to be stuffed in the throw pillow project of the students.
●Start Year：2009 ●No. of Children：150 Children ●Address：Careb Bagabag Nueva Vizcaya
The geographical location of the Philippines made it susceptible to typhoons. Facing the Pacific Ocean, the country is visited by an average of 20 typhoons every year creating damage into the economic situation and way of living of the Filipinos. The typhoon Pedring, one of the strongest typhoons that hit the Northern part of the Philippines on the 17th of September 2011 damaged almost the whole province of Isabela including the trees planted under the Children Forest Program in Kapirpirwan Elementary School.
Fortunately, despite the intensity of the typhoon, the school buildings were not severely damaged because the trees acted as natural barriers which absorbed the strong impact of winds and rains brought by typhoons. With this experience, the school management and the students are more determined in doubling their efforts of planting and nurturing trees within the CFP School.
Since 2004, the students supervised by the teachers and CFP coordinators have been planting trees within the vicinity of the school. For eight consecutive years of planting and nurturing the trees, the school managed to create a mini-forest within the school compound. Other than protection from natural calamities like typhoons and landslides, the mini-forest also served as an area for the students and teachers to relax and commune with nature. The teachers with the help of parents installed recreational equipment under the mini-forest so that the students can enjoy playing with their classmates partially shaded by the forest canopy and safe from the direct hit of the sun.
The established mini-forest within the CFP School addresses the need of the students to expose, explore and experience nature in their second home.
●Start Year：2002 ●No. of Children 244 chilren ●Address：Kapirpirwan, Cordon, Isabela
The 2012 CFP Philippines National Conference with the theme “Revisiting the Past and Moving towards a Sustainable Future” was held at Rizal Re-Creation Center, Rizal, Laguna on July 11 – 15, 2012. The Conference was attended by some 30 people including the CFP National Coordinator, Provincial Coordinators, OISCA Manila staff, guests and Conference volunteers.
One of the activities was a review of the previous conferences from 2008 to 2011. This gave the young OISCA Technical Trainees Alumni Association (OTTAA) leaders a glimpse of the past and the impact created by the previous conferences in the operation of provincial CFP centers. The Coordinators were also asked to share the difficulties they encountered and success stories in terms of implementation of self-sustaining projects.
In the workshops, assessment from Provincial Centers was presented, and the participants discussed planning to address problems and difficulties. Also, they took up funding opportunities for program sustainability.
The Coordinators explained inability to apply global positioning system (GPS) in the documentation of CFP areas. In particular, they found geo-tagging difficult. This was addressed by asking Mr. Garry de Veluz, an OTTAA member from Lucban Training Center, to review the procedures learned from the previous Conference. Ms. Maribeth N. Reboton, National Coordinator, asked the Coordinators to use the GPS and incorporate what they learned in the coming reports.
Several speakers were also invited for upgrading of emerging programs and technologies. Ms. Maria Charito E. Balladares and Mr. Bryan V. Apacionado, both from the University of the Philippines at Los Banos gave an orientation on “Edible Landscaping.” Topics discussed included brief history, definition of edible landscaping, elements of design, principles of design, design consideration and process. The benefits of edible landscaping were also discussed.
Mr. Joey Austria of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) gave a lecture on the National Greening Program. The Secretariat was asked to write all issues that were raised in the subsequent Q & A session so that these can be discussed thoroughly with the OISCA Manila Office. This is in line with the agreement concluded by OISCA with DENR on the implementation of CFP.
The president of OTTAA Philippines, Mr. Antonio P. Mendoza, introduced the concept of water bonsai and its benefits. The word “Bonsai” is a Japanese word which means ‘planted in a container.’ Some of the benefits of having indoor plants in this case, the water bonsai, are: relaxing effect of plant, control of humidity within the optimum levels for human health, absorption of carbon dioxide and emission of oxygen to refresh the air. During the practical session, the participants expressed their creativity in the choice of plant material, design of vase and use of rope and pebbles to accentuate their water bonsai.
Team building activities such as exercise, swimming, dancing and games, were included in the program of the 4-day Conference. These helped foster teamwork spirit among the participants.
On the last day, Mr. Avelino O. Lozada, Coordinator from Zamboanga del Norte, shared how carbon sequestration measurement will be done in CFP sites and other reforestation projects of OISCA.
The detailed schedule of the conferece is available from the below (PDF).
From 2009 through 2010, Mindanao Island suffered a severe water shortage due to the continued drought. The island depends on hydro electric power, but due to the low lake water level the power stations could not generate sufficient electric power. Power failure during 8-hours a day continued for several months. It is said that the drought which seriously affected the life of the local residents and agricultural production is due to the abnormal weather caused by the El Nino effect.
In spite of this serious situation, thanks to the school forest the well water did not dry up around the school taking part in the Children’s Forest Program since 1994. Every mornig, the children sweep fallen leaves and clean the well first when they come school. During the break time, many children gather around the well and drink water.
Through the water shortage, the children learned firsthand the relations between water and trees and also the importance of reforestation. Although it was challenging time, it might be a good opportunity to learn about the natural mechanism.
(Jose Hanoy Elementary School)
Program starting year: 1994 Number of student: 110