Various local government and non-government entities have banded together to intensify efforts to reforest the mangrove area in Barangay San Isidro in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental.
As of latest count, at least 150,000 mangrove seedlings or propagules have been planted, with some having grown as high as six feet already.
Planting was done over a period of two years in an area of 15 hectares.
The mangrove forest is now fast spreading out to sea in the mud flats in San Isidro, which is adjacent to the famous Tanjay Boardwalk, a premiere tourism draw.
According to Sidney Lee, who heads the Negros Oriental ROTC Association of Corps Commanders (NORACC), the massive sea reforestation was initiated Oct. 4, 2015 by the Tanjay local government unit headed by Mayor Rey Concepcion and non-government partners.
He explained that the mangrove reforestation project was conceptualized following observations of the slowly vanishing mangroves due to humans cutting them down for firewood and lumber.
After a partnership was forged with the Tanjay City LGU, the city allocated an initial 10 hectares of its northern shores for mangrove planting, said Lee.
Protected Area Rangers led by Danilo Saycon ensured that the mangroves planted were protected, and soon after, other non-government and environmentalist groups followed suit.
Friends of Earth, Mangroves Sea Grasses Vital Synergy, the 79th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, Cartronix Logistics and Transport Corporation, New BianYek Commercial Inc. Group of Companies, and the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry joined the mangrove reforestation project, according to Lee.
He said they have attributed the success rate of the growth of the mangroves to Saycon for his “diligent care and replacement planting done on a weekly basis.”
The list of partner groups with the corresponding number of mangroves planted are as follows: 79th Infantry Battalion, 10,000; Cartronix Logistics and Transport Corporation (a NOCCI member), 10,000; Friends of Earth, 30,000; Mangroves Sea Grasses Vital Synergy, 30,000; NORACC, 30,000; Tanjay City, 30,000.
Lee said they are committed to continue planting more mangrove propagules in Tanjay City, also as part of their partnership with the 10M Trees in 10 Years for a Greener Negros Movement (10M in 10), which recently celebrated its second year anniversary.
The 10M in 10, initiated by geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), various local governments and the private and non-government sectors, with about 150 partners, is a massive forest restoration movement in Negros Island for a sustainable green future.
While still on its second year, latest available records show that the movement, through its partners, have already planted four million trees, way ahead of its schedule of planting one million trees each year. (PNA)