Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu is calling on the public to take part in the week-long Tree Hugging Campaign to raise awareness on the importance of trees and nurturing forests as a measure to address climate change.
Organized by the DENR-Forest Management Bureau (FMB), the Tree Hugging Campaign will be held from February 14 to 18, 2022.
“Trees help fight climate change and this event dramatizes the need to  take immediate, drastic reductions in greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide which trees absorb,” said Cimatu, who is also the chair of the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCAM-DRR).
Cimatu said that advocacies like the Tree Hugging Campaign “should be encouraged especially in developing countries like the Philippines if we are to sustain our economic goals to reduce poverty without undermining our environmental programs.”
The DENR chief underscored that collective actions for the environment “plays a crucial part in the DENR’s agenda for Filipinos to adopt a positive lifestyle shift in the way we relate to our environment, especially to trees” in facing the challenges of climate change.   
According to the Center for Global Development, developing countries like the Philippines account for some 63 percent of the world’s current annual carbon emissions. 
Arbor Day Foundation, a United States-based non-profit organization, also said that a mature tree will absorb about 22 kilograms of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen in exchange in one year.
“It’s only fitting that we show our gratitude to the trees this Valentine’s Day. Hug a tree in gratitude for the gift they give us—the very air we breathe,” Cimatu said.
An online challenge has been set for the campaign, with 10 outstanding entries to be picked as winners.
Submission of entries will be from February 14 to 18, 2022.
The following are the mechanics to join the DENR-FMB’s Tree Hugging Campaign.
1. Like the FMB Facebook page and follow their Instagram account.
2. Share the event post from the FMB page or Instagram.
3. Post a photo showing a creative way of hugging a tree (indigenous trees are advised for plus points), with a short description or caption of the entry photo and citing the importance of tree-hugging along with the hashtags #TreeHuggingDay, #PunoNgPagmamahal, and #ValentinesDay2022.
4. Make your post public.
Each winner will receive a special token from the DENR. ###