Volunteering Under PINE TREE: A Bold Move For A Novel Cause


Environmental Volunteers – – people who serve in a community or for the benefit of natural environment primarily because they choose to do so. Many serve through a non-profit organization –  either individually or as part of a group.

What Makes A PINE TREE Environmental Volunteer?

Volunteering is fun and rewarding, but it’s also a little more complicated than just showing up and having a good time. Here’s some advice on how to make the most of your volunteer work:
Be selfless. Selfless is the opposite of selfish. Don’t think about what you can do to help yourself. Think about what you can do to help others.
Be well-trained. Know what you’re doing as a volunteer. If you need some time to learn your job, take that time. If you need training or need someone to show you what you’re supposed to do, speak up. If you’re good at your job, it will be much easier to help others (plus you’ll have a lot more fun).

Be dependable. Do what you say you’ll do, and do your best. Don’t show up late, and always keep your promises. People will be relying on you so you don’t want to let them down.
Be enthusiastic. Don’t moan and groan your way through your volunteer work. If you really don’t like what you’re doing, find something else. Always have a positive attitude and show others that you’re doing this because you WANT to.
Be open-minded. One of the really great things about being a volunteer is the chance to learn and experience new things. Keep your mind open to new possibilities, and you’ll probably grow as a person.
Be respectful. Always remember to show respect for other people and other cultures. Keep in mind that your way of thinking or living is not the only way there is.

Be cooperative. Don’t be a “hot shot” or a loner. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Work as part of a team to make sure everyone gets a chance to participate and do his or her fair share of work. If someone asks for help, be willing to lend a hand. If you need some help, ask politely for it.
Be understanding. Try to see things through other people’s eyes. Try your best to understand what other people are going through, even if it’s something you’ve never dealt with yourself.
Be humble. Humble people don’t brag or go around telling everyone about all the good things they’ve done just to get some attention or feel superior. They’re happy knowing that they’re making a difference, and don’t need to shout about it.
Be friendly. Treat others like friends, and they’ll do the same for you. Many people who volunteer meet new people with whom they want to stay friends.

Contact: Dr. Michael A. Bengwayan
Director, PINE TREE

(Cordillera Ecologica l Center for Education, Training, Research and Information)

PINE TREE is a non-profit group based La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines and operated by  environmental volunteers. It develops and implements sustainable conservation practices and livelihood opportunities through education, research, training and information dissemination..

Its  goal is to promote conservation and environmental justice for the environment and  the rural poor.
It strongly promotes and supports community based seedbanking and anti-biopiracy activities.

PINE TREE was started in 2001 by Dr.  Michael A. Bengwayan when the New York City-based Echoing Green Foundation (www.echoinggreen.org), an international think-tank advocating social entrepreneurship worldwide chose him a a Social Change Fellow.
He was awarded a prize of $US80,000 to start PINE TREE and allowed him to do a post doctoral training at Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA.

The MISSION of PINE TREE is “fighting poverty and environmental decay through social change.
It is attained by appropriate technology and education that enables people to implement and concretize culturally acceptable, ecologically sustainable, gender sensitive, and economically viable activities that promote equitable use, management, conservation and development of natural resources.


PINE TREE focuses on agroecology, conservation and indigenous knowledge because the three are interrelated and interdependent.

Slide 13

PINE TREE has received funding from:

Echoing Green Foundation
United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
World Bank
World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Ford Foundation
Dutch Organization for Indigenous Peoples (NCIV)
Toyota Motor Co.
Toyota Foundation
National Geographic Society
Wilde Ganzen
Frontline Defenders, Ireland
Urgent Action Fund USA
Conservation, Food and Health Foundation
ICCO Netherlands
International development Exchange (IDEX) USA
Seed Tree International
Capt. Planet Foundation
Virginia Gildersleeve Foundation
Environmental Resource Management (ERM)
Niwano Peace Foundation
United Nations University
UNFAO 1% for Development
Phil-Australian Community Assistance Program (PACAP)
Australian Aid
Canada Fund
The foreign embassies of Canada, Finland, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and the  Netherlands


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