By Estrella Z. Gallardo
In order to prevent the disappearance of our mangroves and coastal forests, the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-ERDB) proposed the project, “Ecological Mangrove Restoration of Abandoned Brackishwater Fishponds in the Philippines.” led by Dr. Carmelita Villamor.
Mangroves provide vital ecosystem services, which include protection of coastal areas from storm damage, strong waves, riverbank erosion, and floods. They also serve as a habitat for a wide array of biodiversity and help mitigate the effects of climate change through high carbon sequestration.
But despite their numerous ecological services, mangrove forests around the globe continue to dwindle due to illegal harvesting of trees and land development to make way for homes, resorts, and other commercial establishments.
The project will run until March 2021 and will be closely monitored by DOST-PCAARRD.
The project aims to provide inputs for ecological mangrove restoration and management of abandoned brackish water fishponds in the Philippines. This includes understanding the dynamics of mangroves with associated soil and water characteristics and improving protocols of ecological mangrove restoration and management in the Philippines.
With funding from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), model sites for ecological mangrove restoration will be developed and new technical information on the dynamics of natural planted mangroves in our coastal areas will be gathered.
The project will also convene agencies and capacitate local government units (LGUs) and the local community with technical guidelines and improved protocols on mangrove restoration. (PPCI)