A COMMUNITY in Tacloban City is eyeing to plant 18,000 mangrove trees every year to reforest its coastal area and raise the income of fishermen.

Japan-based Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have forged partnership to set up a permanent mangrove nursery.

Paraiso village chief Jan Michael de Veyra asked residents to help protect the mangrove forest in their community.

The project helps people realize the value of mangrove not only in protecting communities from big waves, but also in reviving the marine life in Cancabato Bay.

De Veyra is eyeing to develop the site as an eco-tourism destination once mangrove trees are fully grown.

Leading the implementation of this reforestation project are members of the Paraiso Tacloban Mangrove Eco-tourism Development Association (Pafmet), Army 546th Engineering Battalion, Army 78th Infantry Battalion, and Office of Senior Citizens Affairs.

As of this week, at least 3,000 mangrove trees, mostly "miyapi" species, have been planted.

It was observed that after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), most of the standing mangroves are “miyapi” species.

Pafmet president Carlos Singh urged his neighbors and residents in nearby villages to help in protecting the mangrove forest.

Singh noted that some of the mangrove they planted last year were accidentally uprooted by some fishermen.

“We are asking for their cooperation because what we have been doing is not only for us, but for the future of our children,” he added.

The organization is proposing for the declaration of the five-hectare mangrove plantation as protected area to preserve the mangroves. (PNA)