MANILA, Philippines—Some 30,000 mangrove propagules will be planted in Oriental Mindoro as part of a rehabilitation project in Baco town, a conservation group said Friday.
Implementing agency Conservation International (CI)-Philippines said that the project, launched on Thursday in coordination with 37-year-old Consular Corps of the Philippines (CCP), was part of the province’s climate change adaptation efforts and was the initial salvo to take mangrove rehabilitation efforts further.
It was launched alongside Strategic Intervention and Community-focused Action towards Development (SICAD) for a holistic and integrated approach to getting rid of poverty in the coastal communities by making them development partners.
According to CI-Philippines, the Bantay Dagat group of Baco will monitor and take care of the site to ensure high survival rate while the municipality will be establishing new marine protected areas as part of its climate change adaptation and coastal resources management efforts.
Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso Umali, who was present during the launch, said the province was determined to conduct this “honest-to-goodness coastal resource management development program, dispensing with the idea that this is only for publicity.”
The initial batch of Rhizophora mangrove propagules were planted in Pulantubig village (previously known as Mayagao) in Baco town—a part of the Verde Island Passage, a globally-important marine biodiversity area and one of CI-Philippines’s priority project sites.
The said variety was chosen as it was the most appropriate to the conditions in the project site, a sand bar and river delta formation, and will most likely thrive in the area. The project site acts as a natural barrier to the community against strong waves.
But the area has become more vulnerable after suffering losses in mangroves and Romeo Trono, CI-Philippines country executive director, saw the rehabilitation project as one of the “most cost-effective ways of enhancing a community’s capacity to adapt to climate change impacts.”
“Mangrove belts protect communities from storm damages and help stabilize coastlines.”
CI-Philippines said that propagating a mix of true mangrove and associated species that will improve the stability of coastal ecosystems in the area and give the community with protection from climatic factors and other natural events.
While it improves coastal protection in the area, the project is also expected to “provide additional benefits to fisherfok engaged in aquasilvi projects or crab culture,” said Marilyn Alcañices, head of the Fishery and Coastal Resources Management Division of Oriental Mindoro’s Provincial Agriculture Office (PAgO).
According to her, the project will help “increase aquasilvi project sites and increase the population of crablets and other marine finfish like milkfish, grouper that need mangrove areas as their nursery and feeding grounds.”
The Bantay Dagat group of Baco will take on the task of monitoring and taking care of the planting site to ensure a high survival rate. As part of its climate change adaptation and coastal resources management efforts, the town is also in the process of establishing new marine protected areas.