Petition to stop “kaingin” in the Philippines

Petition to stop “kaingin” in the Philippines

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Andrea Joyce P. Gabriel started this petition to President Duterte and

          Kaingin is one of the predominant form of agriculture here in the Philippines in which, it is responsible for deforestation. Based on my research, Kaingin is more dangerous than logging because in logging, chances are high that there are seeds left over after cutting trees but in kaingin there will never be a chance that trees will sprout again after the area is being burned. The numbers of trees here in the Philippines are slowly decreasing by the use of fire to make a new houses, buildings,parks and etc. The animals in the forest are endangered because their shelter are slowly vanishing.

         Manila, Philippines is the  country's biodiversity is considered one of the richest in the world. But it is also among the most threatened. The Philippines is losing approximately 47,000 hectares of forest cover every year, according to the data provided by the Forest Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. In 2003, the country’s forests comprised 7.2 million hectares. But in 2010, forest cover went down by 4.6 percent or about 6.8 million hectares. The country is down to less than 24 percent of the original forest cover in the 1900s. Open forest or all lands with tree cover of canopy density between 10 percent and 40 percent account for more than half (4.6 million hectares) of total forest cover.  Closed forests, or those with tree canopy coverage of 60 to 100 percent, contributed 28.28 percent (1.9 million hectares) to the country's forest cover. The remaining 4.5 percent or 310,593 hectares are mangrove forests.The list  of the critically endangered animals in the Philippines are Philippine eagle,Philippine freshwater,crocodile,Tamaraw,Walden's hornbill,Visayan warty pig,Philippine cockatoo,
Negros bleeding-heart,Philippine naked-backed fruit bat,Philippine forest turtle,Dinagat bushy-tailed cloud rat,Hawksbill sea turtle,
The Philippine tarsier,Philippine spotted deer,Sulu Hornbill,Negros Fruit Dove,Flame-breasted Fruit Dove,Giant Clams,Cebu flowerpecker,Golden-capped fruit bat etc. Andreas, Heinimann ( 2017, September 8). A global view of shifting cultivation or kaingin. Retrieved from:

The consequences of continuous kaingin are:

  • It  easily lead to deforestation because when soil fertility is exhausted, farmers move on and clear another small area of the forest.
  •  Easily cause soil erosion and desertification.
  • It destroys water sheds.
  • Without trees, we lose the environmental benefits they provide.
  • The slash-and-burn kind of farming will worsen the situation of our environment.
  • When we take away the habitats where animals live, then they must either adapt to their new living conditions or die.

       The philosophical view that I chose is environmental ethics because this is about the discipline in philosophy that studies the moral relationship of human beings and the natural environment, including the non human individuals that populate or constitute it. It’s said, that Environmental ethics shares atleast two attributes.First, its focus on environmental issues. Second, it develops and clarifies the ethical relationship between human kind and nature. According to article that I’ve read, environmental ethics make for challenging philosophical debates about man’s interaction with the environment. Water and air pollution, the depletion of natural resources, loss biodiversity, destruction of ecosystems, and global climate change are all part of the environmental debate. And we see that within the discipline of environmental ethics, there are tough ethical decisions human must consider. For example, it is acceptable for poor farmers in undeveloped countries to cut own forest to make room for farmland, even this action harms the environment.

    The benefits of Kaingin are:

  • It creates an economic benefit that some communities need for survival.
  • We create more usable land for a growing population.
  • Fires also open the forest canopies to allow sunlight to reach the forest floor, benefitting the many plants that are shade intolerant and cannot compete with more shade tolerant plants.
  • Fires are a great way of clearing out the clutter. They can break down nutrients and minerals in burning plants and other debris such as old logs, leaves and dense undergrowth and restore them to the soil, thus making for a more fertile area.

 The solutions that I thought to prevent this kind of issue were the replanting  or tree planting utilizes almost the same aspect as community forestry. However, it entirely focuses of replanting. People, communities, governments, and organizations are all active actors. It involves selecting and dedicating large tracts of land mainly for the purpose of cultivating forests. For instance, in local communities and urban centers, it can be done around market areas, in wildlife reserves, or within city parks. Replanting, therefore, qualifies restorative measure of deforestation. Second, Sensitization and Educative Campaigns can also be counteracted through awareness and sensitization. Sensitization and educative campaigns can be a simple but a more workable solution. Initiating awareness creation champagnes makes it easy for people to detect the causes, effects, and ways of counteracting deforestation. Personal experiences from adversely affected communities such as farmers can be used to emphasize the negative effects of deforestation.Third, re-use and recycling it is  methods of production and utilization of resources can immeasurably reduce Kaingin. Particularly, it’s the focus on re-using items, reducing the use of artificial items, and recycling more items. Paper, plastics, and wood are linked to the destruction of forests and other natural resources.2. Eco-forestry is a move on saving the worlds forest. It acknowledges that sometimes, the use of trees for various human activities or reasons can be inevitable. Eco-forestry not only calls for the preservation of the forest regions ecosystem but also allows for controlled and green timber extraction. Lastly,Land Use Planning controlled or plan the use of land  continue to grow day after day as more and more people claim their share of living in cities.

           Kaingin has been under a lot of attack based on the principle that it degrades soil fertility and general fertility of forestlands in tropical areas. Nonetheless, this mode of farming is highly an adaptation to tropical soil conditions in areas where continued and long term cultivation has been practiced on the same soil without advanced soil conservation methods and use of fertilizers. In such areas, it can be highly preferable to cultivate land for a shorter period of time and abandon it before the soil fully exhausts its nutrients. There are advantages and disadvantages caused by kaingin. It is better to plant more trees than burning them to prevent this issue. 

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