On 25 June 2020, Dr. Rogelio T. Andrada II, Professor at the College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR), University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) and currently the Deputy Director of the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME) and Head of the Botanic Gardens Park and Ecotourism Division (BGPED) of MCME served as one of the resource speakers of the Forest, Health and Wellness Webinar with a theme: The Role of Forestry and Forest Management in Promoting and Sustaining Health and Wellness. The Webinar was part of the 157th Anniversary Celebration of the Philippine Forestry Service and Arbor Day headed by the Forest Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (FMB-DENR).
Dr. Andrada II shared the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve ASEAN Heritage Park’s (MMFR AHP) experiences on Forest, Health and Wellness. Highlights of his talk were on the experiences of the visitors as they do outdoor recreational activities inside the Mount Makiling specifically in the Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG). He shared interesting results of the exit survey with the visitors of MMFR that he conducted for the past 2 years. He mentioned that in general Filipinos are very “SOCIAL,” they visit the mountain with their families and friends and that they were becoming more aware of environmental issues such as climate change and resource sustainability to name a few.
He concluded his talk by being hopeful that peoples’ perspective on enjoying forests be changed to the “new normal” setup. Paying closer attention to their health and practicing social or physical distancing in enjoying the forests and its benefits.
Together with Dr. Andrada II were Atty. Jose Andres Canivel, Executive Director of the Forest Foundation Philippines (FFP); Claire Bea, Chief of the US Embassy Environment, Science, Technology and Health Unit; Randy Vinluan, Sustainable Landscape Specialist of US Agency for International Development (USAID); Dr. Lisa Tolivien, Chief Executive Officer of Bioacademy Finland; and Dr. Karthikeyan Natarajan, Marketing Director of Bioacademy Finland.
A total of 400 zoom participants and more than 4,600 Facebook Live Viewers joined the Webinar on Thursday, 25 June 2020.
Mae Belen L. Putian