Lopez eyes UP Arboretum transformation into ‘ecological paradise’

  • DENR secretary Gina Lopez expresses plan to transform the University of the Philippines (UP) Arboretum into an “ecological paradise”
  • Aside from turning it into an ecological site, the place will be equipped with good septage, renewable energy and medicinal plants
  • The 17-hectare man-made forest area along Central Avenue currently houses several informal settlers 

Plans to transform the University of the Philippines (UP) Arboretum in Diliman, Quezon City, into an “ecological paradise” is underway.

Expressing willingness to realize the plan, Environment Secretary Gina Lopez said she wants an ecological paradise where there will be renewable energy, good septage and medicinal plants.

As mentioned by Jaymee T. Gamil in an article published by The Philippine Daily Inquirer, the 17-hectare man-made forest area along Central Avenue is also currently home to several informal settlers.

Aside from transforming the place into an ecological paradise, Lopez also eyes for livelihood projects that could provide income generating activities for the informal settlers.

“That’s the way they get out of poverty,” Lopez  was quoted as saying during the launch of the nationwide tree-planting project of the Far Eastern University Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation Beta Sigma Fraternity Alumni Association Inc. (FEU-NRMFBSFAAI) held recently in the Arboretum.

As a possible community enterprise, Lopez is considering agroforestry as best option, as well as the production of fertilizers and medicines.

Aside from this, Lopez noted that the UP Arboretum could also be a learning ground for the community, the students and even the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Lopez will also explore ways on how the academe could become an integral part of the plan for the area.

With optimism, the environment secretary noted that the project will definitely be people-oriented because it will require community-based participation.

We include the people and if the people’s lives here do not improve, consider the model a failure,” she stressed.