Europe-based groups to fund mangrove reforestation

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014


EUROPE-BASED groups have said that they are willing to fund the mangrove plantation and rehabilitation in Negros Occidental.

The two groups, Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the German Development Cooperation Deustche Gesselsschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), are conducting a three-day forum on the conservation of mangrove, beach forests, and fishponds in Western Visayas at Palmas del Mar Resort in Bacolod City since Tuesday, February 11, 2014.

Patrick Schwab, chief advisor for Adaptation to Climate Change in Coastal Areas Project of the GIZ, said that through the forum, the partnership hopes to determine the site for mangrove plantation because it is not appropriate just to plant mangroves is any coastal area, Schwab said.

According to the partnership, mangroves and beach forest play an important role in climate change adaptation and mitigation, and flinging mangroves form part of the coastal green belts that protect local communities from increasingly intense and frequent storms, and storm surges as experienced during Super Typhoon Yolanda's wrath across the Visayas.

In Negros Occidental, a total of 16,375 hectares of fishpond were already documented.

Of the total area, 9,860 hectares are with titles; 3,378 hectares are tax declared while 3,138 hectares are under the Fishpond Lease Agreement (FLA) which means that the government owns the land and lease it to private individuals or entities for a period of time.

GIZ and ZSL have already identified the cities of Bago and Sagay to be included in their list for possible mangrove plantation/reforestation.

Bago City has a total of 425 hectares documented fishpond area of which 32.5 hectares are under FLA, 17.4 hectares are tax declared and 81 hectares are titled while Sagay City has a total of 2,809 hectares of documented fishpond where 575 hectares are under FLA; 1,071 hectares are tax declared and 755 hectares are with titles.

ZSL project manager Josephine Savaris said the forum aims to update developments in the regulatory framework and other government policies pertaining to mangroves and beach forests, and share results of the findings of the GIZ-ZSL-DENR project results on mangrove conservation and rehabilitation and abandoned, underutilized, and undeveloped fishponds in Western Visayas.

Savaris also said they have assessed the sites in Pulupandan for mangrove reforestation and will start the project in March.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 12, 2014.

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