A LAW identifying landslide-prone areas feasible for tree planting programs is being sought by Baguio City Councilor Art Allad-iw.
Allad-iw said landslides in the city has led to the destruction of lives, properties and infra-structure projects and to mitigate these effects, the public land which are susceptible for landslides can be planted with trees or other appropriate species to hold the soil.
The lawmaker added these areas can be targeted for tree planting programs, which would not only mitigate landslide but also contribute in the increase of the city’s forest cover that had been declining for years.
“Also, it is our contribution to contain climate change,” he said.
The proposed law aims to identify landslide-prone areas mapped out by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) that are feasible for tree planting.
These sustainable plans should be adopted to include as tree planting areas in a move to mitigate the effects of landslide and contribute to the increase of the forest cover of the city.
The city has a land area of 57.49 square kilometers, with an elevation ranging from 900 meters to 1,600 meters. From its total land area, seventy eight percent is characterized by gentle to moderately steep with slope of less than thirty percent, while twenty-two percent of the land area has steep slopes greater than thirty percent.
“The city is a geo-hazard prone area, in fact, revealed in a study by MGB. Landslides or erosions are occurrence in the city whether they are earthquake induced or due to rainfalls,” Allad-iw added.
According to studies, fault lines are located within and nearby the city, aside from the fact that we are covered by the Pacific Ring of Fire, hence earthquakes are usually experienced. Temblors and tremors induced many of these landslides, particularly those in the unstable slopes. The country too is visited by more than 20 typhoons yearly. In the city, it usually experience the long and heavy rains, which usually weaken the grounds causing landslides.
Allad-iw added the MGB mapped out 30% from the total area of the city. It showed that 5.96 sq. km. or 20.01 percent of the total mapped areas are high landslide susceptible and critical areas; 17.6 sq. km. or 59.08 of the mapped areas are high landslide susceptible; while 5.6 sq. km or 18.8 percent of the mapped area are moderate landslide susceptible. Only 0.63 sq. km. of the mapped areas or 2.11 percent of the mapped areas are considered to be stable areas with no identified landslide.
If passed, the new ordinance mandates the City Engineers Office to identify from the MGB mapped out landslide susceptible areas those that can be feasible for tree planting. It may also recommend projects that would help the area feasible for tree planting.
City environment and parks management office will include the areas identified by the CEO for tree planting purposes and ensures appropriate tree species availability for planting in the area by capable tree planters and ensure the survival of the tree species planted in that area and may recommend plans to ensure that the area is feasible for tree planting.
The City Planning Office will also be tasked to consider and act that these areas susceptible to landslides should be retained as public land owned by the city as well as the city disaster risk reduction and management office to coordinate its programs aimed to help in the mitigation on the effects of landslides in the identified tree planting areas susceptible to landslides.