Mangrove and Beach Forest Development Project

                Super typhoon Yolanda taught us all one great lesson: mangroves and beach forests have the power to provide protection to the coastal dwellers.

             The need to protect mangrove and beach forests against the devastating effects of climate change has come to the fore with the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda. Touted as the world’s most powerful “super typhoon” ever recorded, Yolanda washed out coastal areas especially in Tacloban, Leyte and other coastal areas in the country. In Western Visayas, coastal areas in Northern Iloilo especially in the municipalities of Carles, Estancia, Concepcion, Dueñas and Dumangas were heavily damaged as was the province of Capiz.

             In the light of the possible future destruction of more intense typhoons that could damage many communities, the Philippine government moved to include the Mangrove and Beach Forest Development Project (MBFDP) as a component program under the National Greening Program (NGP).

            An initial funding of P400 Million was released to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for MBFDP that was charged against the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program (RRP) under the FY 2014 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

         The implementation of the MBFDP include the participation of concerned stakeholders from both the local government units (LGU) and the private sectors/non-government organizations (NGOs) in the development of mangroves and beach forests in areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda and other disasters.

In Western Visayas, the DENR 6 fast tracks the implementation of the MBFDP’s implementation. Currently, the Department has produced a total of 339,352 seedlings/propagules of mangrove and beach forest species by the Provincial ENR Offices in Negros Occidental and Capiz.

Meanwhile, 730 hectares of mangrove and beach forest areas in Negros and 388 hectares in Capiz have completed Site Assessment and Validation. PENRO Iloilo, on the other hand, has established 857 hectares of mangrove plantation out of its target of 910 has.

“We target to plant 2,747 hectares of mangrove and beach forests in the region to fortify our coastal defenses against future storm surges. Once established, these forests will serve as protective walls for our coastal communities thereby making them climate change resilient,” said DENR 6 Regional Director Jim O Sampulna.

The P400-M funding will cover the initial requirements as follows: site validation and assessment, baseline/benchmark data collection on validated sites, site preparation, nursery establishment and operation by concerned barangay/community to produce the required number of planting materials, wildlings and propagules collection/production,  plantation establishment, community capacity building and project monitoring and supervision.

 

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'Tropical Design' in Boracay Pushed

The Municipal Planning and Urban Design Guidelines Review Committee (MPUDGRC) created by the local government of Malay, Aklan under Executive Order No. 10 signed by then Acting Mayor Abram Sualog, mandates the review of plans for the construction of new structures or renovations to be done on buildings in Boracay Island, as well as the inspection of the progress of developments to ensure that they follow the island’s “tropical design” rules.

            The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) believes that the “tropical design” will be the new branding of the islands’ infrastructures to the tourism industry. Aside from this, the design that will be done on the existing buildings shall be environment-friendly while at the same time promote a local culture. Thus, this may add as an additional attraction in the island aside from its famous turquoise water and powdery-white sand.

The ordinance emphasizes the use of wood, bamboo, "stone elements," non-combustible thatched roofing, and earth-tone colors as exterior and interior paint for structures.

It also calls for the integration of design elements such as large windows to allow for natural lighting and cooling, high ceilings for better air circulation, tropical elements in building entrances, and landscaped areas with local/native trees and plants.

The guidelines also require the use of ancient script “Baybayin” as the main language for signages, with translations in English and other languages as needed.

The guidelines were issued a few months after the reopening of the island paradise in October. It was shut down for six months last year for rehabilitation, after President Rodrigo Duterte sounded the alarm on environmental degradation and overdevelopment on the island.

The DENR 6 is glad to hear such news, as it would support Boracay’s carrying capacity by using light materials instead of heavy-concrete one in building establishments at the island.  

Furthermore, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu noted that the whole rehabilitation keeps getting better during its first year.

The highest coliform level recorded for the past months was only 40 most probable number (mpn) per 100 milliliters. It passed the safe level of 100  mpn/ml for Class SB water that is suitable for swimming, skin diving and other recreational activities.

Aside from that, Secretary Cimatu also said that there is “no algae year-round”, indicating that the rehabilitation effort had paid off. Fifty one (51) establishments along the white beach now have their own sewage treatment plants (STPs) while others are now connected to the sewer line.

Meanwhile, the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) celebrated a week-long “Sustainability Week” dubbed as #LoveBOracay, which is a celebration of the one year Boracay Closure. The activities run from April 26-May 1, 2019 and focused on the need to keep Boracay Island sustainable.  

Food fest, exhibits, drone festival, ocean jams, sustainable talks and clean ups were the activities done for the whole week.

            DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Fransisco E. Milla, Jr. said that aside from the branding design this may help the environmental concerns of the island. “This (tropical design) will help the island to breathe freely from heavy constructions. Aside from that, this will help ease the burden on the island’s carrying capacity and pollution, from air conditioned-concrete buildings in the island,” RED Milla said.

 

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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources–Provincial ENR Office (DENR-PENRO) Capiz conducted a river clean-up in line with the Recognizing Individuals/Institutions towards Vibrant and Enhanced Rivers (R. I. V. E. R. S.) for Life Award..(More...)

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 recently conducted a Consultation Conference among the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) (More...)

After the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) which spearheaded the initial phase of the rehabilitation activities for the island of Boracay, the task force has been renamed to Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group (BIARMG).(More...)

DENR Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla Jr. with PENRO Valentin P. Talabero , COA Marilou Suncad and Other DENR Officials during the signing of National Greening Program (NGP) Contract for plantation maintenance and protechtion. (More...)

DECLINE in apprehensions of illegally transported forest products was due to DENR's stronger collaboration with the local government units concerned, the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (More...)

From left: PENR Officer Edgardo M. Rostata; Mayor Alfredo Marañon, III; Vice Mayor Narciso S. Javelosa, Jr.; and CENR Officer Rally Cagayanan signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) during the turn-over of the tour guiding equipment given to Suyac Island Eco-Park Tourist Attendant Association (SIETAAS) and Molocaboc Island Reef Rangers Association (MIRRA) as beneficiaries of Sagay Marine Reserve./DENR 6–PENRO Negros Occidental.(More...)

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu taking a photo of the clustered STP designed by the Guangdong Xindayu Environmental Technology Co.during his latest ocular inspection in Boracay Island (left). DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr. shows the tarpaulin which contain(More...)

DENR Secretary Roy. A Cimatu together with Regional Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr. of DENR 6 conducts on-site inspection on the status of the on-going Malandog River Rehabilitation and Management project in Hamtic, Antique. / DENR(More...)

The DENR region 6 warmly welcomes the new Regional Executive Director in the person of Francisco E. Milla, Jr., formerly assigned as National Task Force - Boracay’s Ground Commander.
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