Bamboo as antidote to soil erosion pushed
Former Bulacan Rep. Angelito M. Sarmiento has proposed that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources require mining firms to plant “fast-growing” bamboo for reforestation to control soil erosion and prevent landslides.
Citing a study in the American Journal of Botany by Alexia Stokes, Adrien Lucas and Luc Jouneau, the former presidential adviser on agriculture modernization said that bamboo had been found to be useful in controlling landslides, land degradation and soil mass movement. It can also improve the quality, moisture and stability of the soil.
Bamboo, which releases more oxygen than trees, also helps stabilize riverbanks, regulate watersheds, prevent landslides, protect against soil erosion and recycle water nutrients, according to the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan in a study on the coastal areas of Peru and Ecuador.
Establishing bamboo forests might help avoid killer landslides like that which struck a coal mine on Semirara island on July 17. Heavy rains caused the landslide at the open-pit mine of Semirara Mining and Power Corp., claiming nine lives.
Days before, a landslide occurred on Kennon Road in Benguet, killing two persons and injuring four. Uprooted pine trees caused by monsoon rains were the reported cause of the erosion.
Sarmiento, who was chair of the House committee on agriculture, said the creation of bamboo forests could be done in cooperation with mining firms, local government units and government agencies.–Ina B. Mitiam
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