CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-7 is targeting on planting more than 40,000 mangrove propagules in one day during a simultaneous planting activity and cleanup drive in various coastal areas in Central Visayas.
The regional agency joins the rest of the world in observing Earth Day today.
DENR-7 Regional Director Emma Melana said establishing more mangrove forests in coastal areas is highly important since majority of the population resides along the coasts, having an archipelagic landscape, and locals depend their livelihood on the coastal resources.
She added mangroves also serve as nursery grounds for fish, prawns and crabs, and support fisheries production in coastal waters.
“Aside from planting mangroves and cleaning up our coastal sites, we also want to make sure that our coastal communities are completely aware of the significance of Earth Day observance by making them appreciate the importance of protecting our coastal and marine ecosystems,” Melana said.
Mangroves grow along tidal mudflats and along shallow coastal waters extending inland along rivers, streams and their tributaries to where water is generally brackish.
These mangrove forests are considered as "barriers" that protect coastal communities from destructive storm surges or tidal currents brought by typhoons.
These also produce organic biomass (carbon) and reduce organic pollution in nearshore areas by trapping or absorption.
The simultaneous mangrove planting initiative and coastal cleanup drive is expected to gather over 1,000 volunteers from DENR-7, local government units, people’s organizations, the academe and private sectors.
In Cebu province, the planting activity is set to take place in the coastal areas of Barangay Dunguan in Danao City and Barangay Taluot in Argao town.
The same is also happening in the towns of Upper de la Paz, Cortes, Poblacion Dimiao, and Poblacion Talibon in Bohol; and in Barangay Binuongan, Enrique Villanueva in Siquijor.
This year’s Earth Day observance carries the theme "Our Changing Climate" that aims to emphasize the need to act against the threats brought about by climate change.
Earlier, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared April 22 as the “Philippines’ Earth Day” through Presidential Proclamation No. 1481, amending Presidential Proclamation Nos. 553 and 1276, making Earth Day a permanent environmental holiday in the Philippines.
Earth Day is the single biggest environmental celebration across the globe participated in by more than 150 countries and over a billion people worldwide. (FREEMAN)