DENR 7 restores 24 has. of mangroves, 14 has. of beach forest in Yolanda-hit areas

By Eddie O. Barrita

CEBU CITY, July 27 (PNA) — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 has established and restored some 24 hectares of mangrove plantations and 14 hectares of beach forest plantations in the Yolanda-hit areas in Central Visayas, particularly in northern Cebu, an official said.

DENR-7 regional executive director Isabelo Montejo said some P3.6 million has been released with close to 500,000 seedlings of mangroves and various tree species planted in northern Cebu.

Of the amount, over P1.5 million was used to produce around 484,301 mangrove propagules and about P2,192,550 for the production of 40,950 saplings for the beach forest plantations.

Montejo said DENR will now focus on the re-establishment and restoration of mangrove plantations and beach forest plantations to highlight their importance to the environment and to the lives of the residents of coastal communities affected by the typhoon.

“During the immediate recovery phase, DENR 7 implemented the Cash for Work and Operation Gabas project to financially provide the affected residents and at the same time clear typhoon debris like fallen trees, coconut palms and damaged mangrove plantations, but now we are geared toward more sustainable programs,” Montejo said.

After Yolanda struck regions 7 and 8 in November last year, DENR 7 conducted an immediate assessment of the 185 hectares of identified plantation sites and had contracted 14 people’s organizations to reestablish about 83 hectares of mangrove plantations and 100 hectares of beach forest plantations in Camotes Island, Bantayan Island, Daanbantayan, Medellin, Bogo City and Borbon.

DENR 7 allocated a total of P8,170,000 for immediate relief assistance to the Yolanda-affected communities, including the restoration and establishment of mangrove and beach forest plantations.

About P4,420,000 has been allotted to produce 1,020,000 mangrove propagules and P3,750,000 for the production of 50,000 saplings for beach forests. (PNA)