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Wetlands International wants to recover mangrove lands

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Wetlands International wants to recover mangrove lands
  • Greg R.
  • 2 months ago

The Wetlands International Philippines, a non-profit entity concerned with the conservation and restoration of mangroves is now campaigning hard to get back 450 hectares of land in different parts of the country which used to be planted with mangroves but are now fish ponds or beach resorts.

This was disclosed by Wetlands International during its two-day media tour of Wetland Nature Park in Balanga and mangrove conservation sites in Abucay and Orion towns last Monday and Tuesday. Ms. Jocel Pangilinan, project manager of “To Plant or Not To Plant” of Wetlands International, said in Bataan province alone there are about 10 hectares of lands which are supposedly planted with mangroves but are now subjects of either land conversion or ownership dispute. She said mangrove trees are not supposed to be cut down without any permission from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The biggest challenge now is for Wetlands International to recover the lands for mangrove tree plantation. Pangilinan said, “It would now be very costly to recover the lands where we are supposed to plant mangroves. Malaking halaga na ang magagastos.” Some of the lands are to be recovered for the purpose but the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) would not allow it for food security reason, Pangilinan told reporters. “People should be aware of the many things mangrove can do to our environment,” she said. She recounts that in Mindoro province, mangrove trees were cut down to give way for road construction. Earthballing was used as an option, “but earthballing cannot be applied to mangroves,” Pangilinan said. Asked what she can say about mangroves in Bataan, the veteran environmentalist said: “Malinis ang mangrove trees dito sa Balanga because the LGU is doing something about it.” “The Wetlands International sticks to nature and the most important thing we can do is to work with the community,” she added.

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Environment

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