Activists fighting to save a 300-year-old tree in Agusan del Sur

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Activists are fighting to save a 300-year-old tree in Agusan del Sur from being cut down, saying it is worth saving because of its historical, environmental, and aesthetic value.

Speaking to CNN Philippines on Tuesday, Jurgenne Primavera said one report says the tree can be saved, while another said it posed a risk.

Primavera, a marine environmentalist who's been inducted as a member of the National Academy of Science and Technology, is a member of the Philippine Native Tree Enthusiasts who is working to keep the Philippine Rosewood tree, locally known as "toog."

It is the tallest tree of its kind in the country, and Primavera said it was worth saving on three levels.

"The value of this tree is...first it's historical. The age goes back centuries in time, that's our history. The second value is environmental... And lastly, of course, aesthetically. What a beautiful tree. Old trees, big trees are really majestic. On those three points, the value is really immeasurable," she said.

The fight for the tree has been going on for years, but Primavera said it has recently became more popular.

She said a permit to cut down the tree had already been secured, but "the groundswell was larger because of social media."

"We had consultations and feedback (with) the local government , provincial and municipal, and with DENR if we could hold, suspend the cutting because this year, another set of permits was also again approved," she said.

She said they also asked for a more complete study of the tree to determine what should be done.

Watch the interview here.