C. Luzon forests can absorb 200 million metric tons of carbon

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AMID SKEPTICISM on climate change, forestry experts from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here estimated that Central Luzon’s forests could capture up to 206 million metric tons (MT) of carbon dioxide, which can boost government effort in mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change.           

According to Maximo Dichoso, Executive Director of DENR in Central Luzon, the region’s 589,489 hectares forest cover can act as carbon sink and significantly contribute in cleansing the air of pollutants.

“Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and propel climate change. The only way to reduce it is by planting more trees,” he explained.

Although scientists and climate change experts vary in their estimates on the amount of carbon dioxide that a single tree can sequester, they all agree that one tree, regardless of species, could capture at least 0.56 MT of carbon dioxide in its lifetime.

At an average spacing of four by four meters of trees, forestry experts estimate that Central Luzon’s forests would have roughly more than 368 million trees of different species. 

Citing a research study, Dichoso said that if ten trees can capture the emission of one motor vehicle, then Central Luzon forests can sequester the carbon emissions of more than 36 million motor vehicles.

Based on latest statistics from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the country has more than six million registered vehicles, of which 800,000 are in Central Luzon.

Pres. Aquino’s National Greening Program (NGP) which aims to plant 1.5 billion trees covering 1.5 million hectares of forestland by 2016, is estimated to capture about 840 million MT of carbon dioxide and contribute to global efforts to mitigate climate change.