THE Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Menre-Barmm) has partnered with other stakeholders to assess the Sacred Mountain National Park in Marawi, Lanao del Sur.
The move is to formulate legislation for the protection and preservation of the Sacred Mountain National Park, according to Menre-Barmm.
Among the agencies Menre partnered to undertake the assessment are its Lanao del Sur provincial office, National Power Corporation-Watershed Management Division, Mindanao State University–College of Forestry and Environmental Studies (MSU-CFES), Marawi City and village council, and the Office of Member of Parliament Maisara Dandamun-Latiph.
MENRE said a composite team climbed the Sacred Mountain National Park on August 10 and conducted an assessment.
The activity aimed to record the mountain’s vulnerabilities and establish policies for its development and conservation. The team also conducted a tree planting activity.
The 94-hectare Sacred Mountain National Park, dominated by the 900-foot Mount Mupo, straddles Guimba and Papandayan villages in Marawi City.
It was established as a national park on August 5, 1965, by the virtue of Republic Act No. 4190, declaring certain places in the province of Lanao del Sur as National Parks.
Lanao del Sur Provincial Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy Officer Asmarie Labao said that the park needs an actual delineation considering the continuous encroachment of the community.
“The remaining forest cover must be conserved and protected,” Labao said.
Labao said that MSU-CFES Professor Mark Gregory confirmed the existence of exotic species like the African Tulip trees and Buyo Buyo plants, which may be harmful to the few native species remaining in the mountain.
“Although hindi pa siya ganoon kadami, it’s alarming na naka-abot na dito ang mga exotic species,” Labao said.
“With the help and assistance of the experts from MSU-CFES, we have now the initial data of the existing flora and fauna found at Mount Mupo, especially the endemic species we have and the presence of exotic species,” he added.
He also noted that the involvement of Latiph may be a way to have new legislation reinforcing rehabilitation and reforestation programs for the park. (SunStar Zamboanga)