The graduate students who came from Japan, China, and Nepal were accompanied by their University of Tokyo professors - Professor Satoshi Tsuyuki, Associate Professors Tetsuya Araki and Yoichiro Kato, and Mr. Kohei Masuyama, to the TYKFI project site as part of their eight-day study tour.
In coordination with the University of the Philippines - Los Baños Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management (IDSC-INREM) headed by Dr. Juan Pulhin along with Dr. Rose Jane Peras and Dr. Catherine de Luna of UPLB College of Forestry, the Tan Yan Kee Foundation, Inc. (TYKFI) led by Foundation Head Philip Sing and Prof. Marlo Mendoza, introduced the students to the environmental programs and reforestation efforts of the Foundation as a non-government organization.
The Foundation provided the delegates a profile of the LCT Legacy Forest Project and introduced them to both workers and beneficiaries of the project at the TYKFI field office.
Dr. Lucio C. Tan, TYKFI’s chairman and president, launched the Legacy Forest Project in 2014 with the goal of mitigating the effects of the environment’s alarming situation due to forest degradation. Dr. Tan continues to look for what the Foundation could do for the future generations, especially by protecting the environment, enriching the natural resources and its biodiversity and providing sustainable livelihood agroforestry projects for the marginalized members of the society.
The TYKFI hosts allowed the delegates to view and experience the LCT Legacy Forest through a tour of the vast 930-hectare planting site in Barangay R. A. Padilla, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija where thousands of fuel wood and timber trees like mangium, batino, ipil-ipil and narra and fruit trees like guyabano and tamarind now populate the area.
From the mountain top, they were also able to view part of more than 200 hectares of the biodiverse area which the Foundation helps protect. The visitors learned that the Foundation has constantly sought the help of experts from institutions like the University of the Philippines and the Nueva Vizcaya State University in determining the Biodiversity Index of the reforestation areas under the program. As part of the Foundation’s commitment to reinforce the protection and management of the ecosystem, TYKFI continues to document various life forms in both the plantation and protected areas where biodiversity levels have improved at higher levels since the forest project began four years ago.
During an open forum with the TYKFI technical group of foresters and agriculturists, the visiting students were engrossed in the exchange of information, ideas, and practices about forest restoration, biodiversity preservation, and food security education and sustainable livelihood programs for the farmers. They also had the chance to interview and interact with several farmers who have worked either in the forest plantation or the agroforestry farms where they earn a livelihood by planting crops like cassava and chili.
The students expressed their appreciation for the fruitful exchange of ideas and learning experience which could help them accomplish their goal of learning global agriculture outside of their home country.
As their delegation head, Prof. Satoshi Tsuyuki, said, “We are so thankful for all your effort, even working during a holiday, just to accommodate us; for the hospitality, and the very informative presentation and discussion about your noble projects. Thank you so much!”