Mangrove planting bolster Dumangas coastal defense


           In celebration of the World Environment Day on June 5, 2015, hundreds of volunteers joined hands to plant mangroves at Brgy. Bantud-Fabrica in Dumangas, Iloilo.

            A National Greening Program (NGP) site, the area’s mangrove forest was further strengthened with the recent mangrove planting activity led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 6. Employees and officials of LGU-Dumangas led by Mayor Rolando B. Distura along with local residents and environment concerned groups and individuals supported the activity. Together, volunteers planted 3,000 Bungalon seedlings and Bakhawan propagules across 1.2 hectares of coastal area.

             “If we could possibly plant mangroves along the shoreline of all Dumangas fishpond areas, we can create a strong first line of defense against extreme weather disturbances,” said DENR 6 Regional Director Jim O Sampulna.

         “We can also invite schools to join us in our future planting activities as we need more people support. This massive tree planting activity is an order from President Aquino himself to reforest mangrove areas around the country to serve as natural storm breakers,” he added.

             Dumangas is a coastal town in Northern Iloilo which is vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as storm surges and tidal waves. Thus, mangrove reforestation is a priority of the local government.

“Mangrove planting is part of the LGUs priority program to adapt to climate change. We also have here the Climate Field School (CFS) for Farmers in Dumangas – the first in the Philippines and second in Asia,” Mayor Distura disclosed.

 The CFS is an innovative disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation strategy for agriculture adopted by Dumangas LGU. The school is equipped with an agro-meteorological station that forecasts weather conditions. The local government aims to reduce disaster risks and enhance the capacity of farmers, extension workers, rural women and other stakeholders to understand the role of climate in plants propagation, growth and development as well as its relationship to plants pests and diseases.

        Climate change is a reality that people nowadays have to adapt to. The DENR 6 is thereby strengthening the local communities’ adaptation and mitigation strategies through reforestation activities.


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