The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has linked up with a private firm to enhance the continuing reforestation initiatives in the critical Mt. Matutum.
Radzak Sinarimbo, head of the DENR’s Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office -South Cotabato, said Thursday they were closely working with the Tupi Supreme Activated Carbon, Inc. (TSACI) to facilitate the proper maintenance and protection of a 100-hectare tree plantation in the area.
Sinarimbo said the tree plantation, which is situated in Sitio Lamlatang, Barangay Miasong in Tupi town, was established under the department’s flagship National Greening Program in 2013.
The company has agreed to help sustain, maintain, and protect the plantation, as well as take part in other conservation and reforestation initiatives in Mt. Matutum, which is a declared protected landscape.
TSACI, which is based in Tupi, is engaged in the production of activated carbon, a high-value product derived from coconut shells.
The product, which has a growing demand locally and abroad, is used in water filtration, air purification, health care, food, metal extraction, and gold purification.
“Company officials committed to be hands-on in the monitoring and protection of the established plantation,” Sinarimbo said in a statement.
He said the initiative would provide additional jobs to community residents who would be tapped to join the tree planting and related activities.
Barangay Miasong is part of the declared biodiversity or wildlife corridor of the 14,000-hectare Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape.
The biodiversity corridor, which covers 10 barangays in Tupi and Tampakan town, is a priority of the continuing massive reforestation and rehabilitation program of the DENR and the provincial government of South Cotabato.
Mt. Matutum, South Cotabato’s highest peak, is home to various wildlife species, among them the tarsiers, as well as rare flora and fauna.
It is a known habitat of the Philippine deer, Philippine Eagle, civets, and bats, among others.
The area’s watershed is an important water source, supplying 30 percent of the water requirements of this city and the provinces of South Cotabato and Sarangani. (PNA)