Calamba City, Laguna- A total of 250 seedlings of Rhizophora apiculata, Rhizophora stylosa and Avicennia sp. were planted along the coastal area of Barangay Luyahan, Lian, Batangas during the celebration of the World Mangrove Day. Meanwhile, 17 sacks or approximately 255 kilograms of wastes consisting of food wrappers, plastic bottles, fishnets, disposable diapers, slippers, shoes, and other solid wastes were also collected.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources CALABARZON Region through the Conservation and Development Division spearheaded the mangrove planting and coastal clean-up. There were 70 individuals from the DENR CALABARZON Regional Office, PENRO Batangas, CENROs Calaca and Lipa, Municipal ENR Office, Local Government Unit (LGU) of Lian, Batangas, and the People’s Organizations actively participated in both activities.
For. Isagani Q. Amatorio, the Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer of Calaca, Batangas, said that the Philippines has approximately 7 Million hectares of forest cover that are left and that only 4.3% is classified as mangrove forest. He added that almost 400 hectares of mangrove forest remain in Batangas Province. He further said, “hinihikayat namin ang patuloy na pagtatanim ng mga bakawan para maitanim sa isipan ng mga tao ang kahalagahan nito (bakawan) lalo na sa mga komunidad na malapit sa baybayin lalo’t higit sa oras ng kalamidad.”
DENR CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria said in an interview, “(mangroves) it should be protected because a lot of people depend on it for livelihood. Mangroves are also spawning areas for fish and other marine species.”
The celebration of World Mangrove Day or International Day for the Conservation of Mangrove Ecosystem was adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2015 and celebrated annually every 26th of July. It aims to raise awareness about the importance of Mangrove Ecosystems as a “unique, special and vulnerable ecosystem” and also to promote solutions for their sustainable management, conservation, and uses. ###