By Jennifer Catan-Tilos
NEGROS ORIENTAL (PIA) – The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and its partner-agencies in the 10M in 10 for a Greener Negros movement has planted a total of 5,483 mangrove seedlings (Rhizophora spp) in Tanjay City in observance of Arbor Day.
This is part of the launching of its mangrove restoration at the Mangrove Boardwalk in the city participated in by Negros Oriental ROTC Association of Corp Commanders (NORACC), Friends of Earth, AFP’s 79th Infantry Batallion, and the local government of Brgy. Luca, Tanjay City.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) also spearheaded an 85-kilometers Bike Challenge for the Trees or “Sikad Tanum Kahoy” from Dumaguete City to Mabinay town of which all participants planted trees at the Mabinay Springs.
10M in 10 is Negros Island’s biggest forest restoration movement that aims to plant, grow, and protect at least 10 million trees in the next 10 years with the help and commitment of individuals, government agencies, people’s organizations, and private companies.
The movement has set three goals to achieve this: establish stable and productive watersheds, enhance and protect Negros Island’ unique biodiversity, and develop resilient communities and ecosystems that are able to adapt to climate change impacts.
“We have included mangrove reforestation in our 10M in 10 program because of its numerous benefits to both the marine environment and the people,” said 10M in 10 Executive Director Prof. Marlo Mendoza.
Mangrove forests are extremely productive ecosystems that are home to a large variety of fish, crab, shrimp, and mollusk species. They form an essential source of food for thousands of coastal communities. It also provides valuable timber and plant products as well as coastal protection.
After the mangrove planting, Foundation University (FU) in cooperation with EDC has opened FU’s 20-hectare Endemic Trees Arboretum in a soft launching ceremony participated in by another 10M in 10 partner, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas-Negros Oriental chapter (KBP).
One hundred seedlings were initially planted by EDC, FU, and KBP representatives led by Ms. Norreen G. Bautista, Head of EDC’s Community Partnerships, External Relations and Watershed Management Group(CREW), FU President Victor Vicente “Dean” Sinco, and KBP President/DYRM Station Manager Sherlyn Abella and their other supporters.
This botanical or tree garden will harbor a living collection of endemic and indigenous trees that are grown in Negros Island. Other institutions and associations are also encouraged to plant trees there and be a part of 10M in 10. (rmn/jct/PIA-7 Negros Oriental/This article was originally published at PIA Website on June 28, 2016)