Seeing the potential of Panay Island to grow healthy bamboos, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu proposed the possibility of making Panay Island the as country’s Bamboo Capital.
“We will adopt the latest technology in producing lumber and timber out of bamboo stands. This can usher inclusive development in the island and provide income and livelihood not only to the marginal farmers, and promote Panay as the country’s bamboo capital,” Secretary Cimatu said during the National Convergence Iniative for Sustainable Rural Development held in Iloilo City.
Secretary Cimatu hopes to pursue bamboo plantation in the same way which the National Greening Program (NGP) is being implemented. He saw its potential of mitigating the impacts of climate change. Indeed, bamboo forests serve as carbon sink while producing oxygen as well.
Its environmental benefits include being a natural control for soil erosion, regulate water levels in watersheds, conserve biodiversity and beautify the landscape, to mention a few.
To help this materialize, DENR Region 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr. had conceptualized the following activities as an initial steps in achieving this goal; conduct of regionwide validation for potential sites for Bamboo Plantation; establishment of pilot nurseries for bamboo; conduct capability building, including cross visit to expose the participants on bamboo industries existing plantations; and to identify potential sites for bamboo processing plant for engineered bamboo products.
Anent this, the region will host the 5-day 1st ASEAN Bamboo Congress for Climate Change Adaptation Towards Environmental Sustainability and Economic Resiliency to be held in Iloilo City on August 12 to 16, 2019.
The activity aims to provide a venue for an international forum for the exchange of information and updates among researchers, academe, policy makers, private and public individuals on bamboo and sustainable environmental strategies within the ASEAN region.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources–Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (DENR-ERDB) will spearhead this and will be expecting local, national and international participants.
“This Bamboo Congress is timely for the instruction of Secretary Cimatu to make Panay Island the Bamboo Capital of the Philippines. This will help the people to further enhance and expand their knowledge on what are the benefits the bamboo will give us aside from being one of the oxygen-givers in this planet,” DENR 6 RED Milla said.
One of Secretary Cimatu’s ten point agenda is the Enhanced National Greening Program (E-NGP) which not only focuses on the greening of the environment, but also to generate livelihood program for those involve and at the same time boosts the country’s economy by means of selling local products.