Team Energy supports infrastructure restoration in Quezon mangrove research area

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Team Energy supports infrastructure restoration in Quezon mangrove research area

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Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – Region 4A CALABARZON Regional Director Reynulfo A. Juan (2nd left) and Team Energy Foundation, Inc (TEFI) Officer-in-Charge Toshiro Kume (3rd from left) display the signed Memorandum of Agreement for the repair and restoration of the 780-meter board walk at the Pagbilao Mangrove Experimental Forest (PMEF) in Barangay Palsabangon in Pagbilao, Quezon while Quezon Provincial Administrator Romulo Edano (2nd from right), representing Quezon Governor David Suarez, Assistant Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PGENRO) Eammanuel Calayag (right), Barangay Palsabangon Chairman Rodelo Merle stood as witnesses during simple rites held at the Palsabangon Barangay Hall on November 3, 2015.

The 145-hectare Pagbilao Mangrove Experimental Forest boasts of an intact mangrove forests, and is considered as having the most diverse species composition in the Philippines, and second in Southeast Asia. It serves as a demonstration area for mangrove forest enhancement and rehabilitation.

The DENR has declared it as a “Genetic Resource Area and National Training Site for Mangroves” and had catered to scientific research, and educational visits of students and tourists.

The MOA signing is one of the highlights of the Public Consultation for the establishment of PMEF as protected area as initial component under the NIPAS Act. It is part of the 587-hectare Pagbilao Mangrove Swamp Forest Reserve declared as such by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 2152, issued on December 29, 1981 by then President Ferdinand Marcos.

DENR Calabarzon chief Juan expressed appreciation for the TEFI's support in the upgrade and repair of infrastructure in the research facility and in its sharing the mission and be a partner in sustaining the health of the ecosystems in areas where Team Energy operates.

Recognizing the need to collaborate with groups like, Juan emphasized "TEFI is supporting our environmental programs and activities, including awareness building through ecotourism and is a partner in our pursuit of the sustainable management and development of the Pagbilao Mangrove Forest as an ecotourism destination."

"Team Energy had initially restored and reinforced the hanging bridge that leads to the heart of the research facility. with steel and concrete slabs. We, at the DENR, have rehabilitated the display area and the bunkhouse., Juan said.

"And with a restored boardwalk, researchers will have more access to the different species of mangroves. Students, teachers, campers, tourists and other visitors will have a better view of the mangrove forest," he added.

The DENR's Calabarzon Regional office and the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau, with groups like the Team Energy Foundation; institutions of learning such as the Southern Luzon State University, Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation, Saint Anne College of the Pacific, civic groups such as the Rotary Club of Pagbilao, Pagbilao Chamber of Commmerce and the local government nits of Barangay Ibabang Palsabangon, municipality of Pagbilao and the province of Quezon have prepared and agreed to the joint implementation of a management plan to restore the PMEF to its original designation as a Genetic Resource Area and Mangrove Training Site and also to develop and promote the area as ecotourism destination. (Oliver Viado, Chief, Conservation and Development Division/Photo by Carl Banal/Staff, CDD)