DavOr underscores beefing up reforestation efforts to toughen resilience from calamity
18 Nov 2014
DAVAO CITY, Nov. 18 (PIA) – Learning from the gloomy experience during the onslaught of super typhoon Pablo, a local government official of Davao Oriental has called on to strengthen reforestation efforts as a way to toughen resilience from extreme weather condition.
“We have to regain the lushness of the forest. Without our existing forest, the effect of typhoon Pablo could have been worst,” said Dolores Valdesco, head of Davao Oriental Provincial Natural Heritage Center.
Valdesco represented Governor Corazon Malanyaon as one of the guest speakers during the 12th Mindanao Communicators Congress held last week in Zamboanga City, which tackled the core message on rehabilitation and reconstruction after calamities, thus the event’s theme: “Building Back Better Mindanao.”
Valdesco said the province needs to firm up its reforestation efforts through forest regeneration considering that six out of the 11 protected areas in the region are found in Davao Oriental.
She cited Mt. Hamiguitan which should be conserved and protected well since it is prone to natural calamities because it is facing the Pacific Ocean, and most especially that Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary has been recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
UNESCO World Heritage describes the mountain as showcasing “terrestrial and aquatic habitats at different elevations, and includes threatened and endemic flora and fauna species, 8 of which are found only at Mount Hamiguitan,” and including “critically endangered trees, plants and the iconic Philippine eagle and Philippine cockatoo.”
Valdesco recommended for a moratorium on cutting of trees in the forests, adding that the “national greening program should make sure that tree species planted especially in protected areas should be endemic, and not the introduced ones.”
She said taking care of the forests is one way of preparing for any natural disaster to come, adding that the local government should lead its people to be proactive instead of becoming only reactive to calamities.
She updated that Davao Oriental has now recovered from the severe devastation caused by super typhoon Pablo, saying “Physically, green na ang landscape (ng mga bundok natin). Malakas ang tubig sa Cateel Irrigation project which was launched on October 28 this year.”
In the social sector, the provincial government has established rebuilding resettlement areas which were made sure to be geo-hazard free areas, Valdesco stated.
She said that the Building Back Better Movement (BBB) which was launched in hugely devastated municipalities of Boston, Cateel and Baganga, was not only aimed at fast tracking physically rehabilitation but was also intended for moral and spiritual renewal of the constituents in the province. (PIA-11/Carina L. Cayon)