- Category: Region News Items
- Published on Monday, 22 June 2015 10:19
- Written by Roanne Joy B. Sallave
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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.