Young tree planters in the Philippines. Underage activists spends thousands of hours planting trees to prevent landslides. Image: Eco-Business When a landslide killed 97 people near a treeless mountain in the Philippine municipality of La Trinidad, Benguet, in 2008, 30 child survivors declared war on deforestation. Armed with shovels pick-axes and trowels, they waged it in several villages, planting thousands of trees. They brought the war to the streets too, protesting against corporations and politicians who were felling trees. They participated in regional festivals that celebrated the ecological, cultural and social relevance of trees. The young eco-warriors’ most challenging battle was fought against a formidable enemy—their government. One of them Jason Pul-as, now 17, a senior in high school, is already battle-scarred. “We have not stopped fighting. We won some, we lost some. We lost in the Supreme Court to save some trees in Baguio City, but won against a mining company that degraded a town. We also lost a case that could have saved thousands of trees along the Philippine North MacArthur Highway,” he recalls. I was profiled, unidentified people went to my school and got all sorts of information about me. My mother was warned to tell […]

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