THINK OF THESE: Advancing nature preservation with business

At least 9 groups and one person from Mindanao were among the 30 awardees that were honored by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) for adopting technologies on reforestation while promoting industries and jobs.

ERDB, a line agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), gave the 30 top technology adopters during the bureau’s 30th anniversary last December 18. They were judiciously chosen.

According to ERDB, they were selected because of the sustainability of the technology and the benefits derived as reforestation projects contribute to carbon sequestration, biodiversity preservation, and environmental beautification.

“This is a validation of how ERDB technologies help improve lives of communities while protecting the environment. It is also a showcase of ERDB’s achievements in the last three decades since 1987,” said Dr. Henry A. Adornado, ERDB’s executive director.

Awardees include private individuals, people’s organizations (POs), non-government organizations (NGOs), and local government units (LGUs).

At least five groups from Davao Region made it to the list of honorees. The Pangapog Association Inc. (PAI) of barangay Tambo in the Island Garden City of Samal was cited for its reforestation program using the mangrove species called “pagatpat” in rehabilitating Sanipaan Shoal, more popularly known as the “vanishing island.”

“With the effort to grow pagatpat, Sanipaan Shoal is now an ecotourism learning destination,” said a statement from ERDB. “Women raise an average of 20 potted pagatpat seedling per day. Private firms also helped rehabilitate Sanipaal by adopting an area for them to plant mangroves.”

Davao Oriental has two winners; both from Governor Generoso. The Evergreen Tree Planters Association of Tandang Sora has been involved in the rattan industry for 27 years now. The group, composed of 200 rattan gatherers, established an additional 5-hectare rattan plantation on top of their existing hectares. Because of what they have done, supply of raw material of rattan for furniture and basket production has been stabilized.

The Governor Generoso was also awarded for its almaciga plantation and resin tapping technology. Through the Biodiversity Partnerships Project, ERDB extended training on inventory of almaciga trees to the municipality.

“There was a significant increase in almaciga resin production yield with zero-minimal damage incurred on the tree. There was an increased participation of local communities in sustainable almaciga tapping,” the ERDB reported.

The residents also serve as forest guards. This is why timber poaching was minimized; almaciga trees and other forest tree species have been preserved. But what makes this project very important is that it enhanced biodiversity conservation in the unprotected region of Mount Apo, a key biodiversity area.

The Tuboran Elementary School of Mawab, Compostela Valley was cited for using coconut coir in combination with materials from falcata, mahogany, narra and African tulip in rehabilitating severely eroded area.

“Surface run-off gadgets were installed in the area to assess the combination of coco coir and vegetative measures,” the ERDB said. “Run-off plots and catchment approach was used to measure the erosion rate.”

In Davao del Norte, the San Jose Agroforestry Farmers Association (SJAFA) was recognized for creating jobs from bamboos, which are made into the special handicraft called “liyang.” It is a finely-woven narrow container which is used for storage of rice and other food items.

SJAFA members – mostly vegetable farmers who also trade many good like banana and livestock – practice bamboo propagation through culm cuttings. They planted bamboo to rehabilitate the Longaob River.

There were three winners from Agusan del Sur. The LGU of Prosperidad, with the help of the provincial environmental and natural resources office, has put up 1,375.25 hectares of falcata plantations in Patin-ay. It sourced 77 kilos of improved falcata seeds from ERDB-run Mindanao Tree Seed Center (MTSC).

The Casinillo Nursery in barangay Fili of Bayugan also sourced 1.5 kilograms of falcata seeds from MTSC. Today, the Caraga Farmers and Environmental Multipurpose Cooperative has become a cooperator in the industrial tree plantation technology transfer project in Caraga.

The Diwata Farm is a co-operators of progeny trial establishment and government’s industrial tree plantation production and technology transfer. It developed a total of 60 hectares of falcata farm from MTSC.

The LGU in Tagbina in Surigao del Sur established a 2-hectare seedling seed orchard for falcata in Dona Carmen. The environment department considered the Caraga Region as a forest plantation corridor as majority of 60-70% of the country’s wood production comes from this region.

The only person honored was Antonio Dominao from Bukidnon who is cited for widely distributing the giant bamboo species which are used as support for Mindanao’s export-oriented banana trees.

In the beginning, he was a government laborer at the experimental and bamboo plantation of ERDB-DENR in Region 10. Since 1987, he became interested as an adopter and established a bamboo nursery at his own residence in Impalutao, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon,

Now his nursery sells 50,000 giant bamboo seedlings per month at P20 each, generating P1 million from it.

“The improvement of the socio-economic status of Dominao served as an eye opener to the community that inspired them to adopt also the (bamboo propagation) technology,” said ERDB’s Adreana Santos Remo.