By Estrella Z. Gallardo
Mangroves are home to a variety of fish, crab, shrimp, and mollusk species, while coastal forests serve as nurseries for a huge number of fish species, no doubt they are very important to the marine ecosystem in the community.
A project titled “Rehabilitation Strategies for Critical Mangrove and Coastal Forests in Coastal Communities of Western and Northwestern Leyte,” was launched to prevent the disappearance of mangroves and coastal forests in Baybay City in Western Coast of Leyte and the municipality of Isabel in Northwestern Leyte.
The project is funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
The project covers 5.18 hectares of degraded mangroves in Barangays Jaena and Sabang, Baybay City and Barangay Tolingon and PASAR in Isabel, Leyte.
Among the initiatives done through the project are community visits and partnership-building. The visits involved informal discussions to increase awareness, interest, support, and participation of the community on rehabilitation efforts.
Production of mangroves and beach forest planting stocks are also being done through the development of onsite nurseries. (PPCI)