Envi group says dry spell affects ‘rainforestation’ projects

Apr. 28, 2015

DAVAO CITY – The prolonged dry spell has not only affected crop production but has also affected rainforestation initiatives in the watershed, an environment group said.

The Interface Development Interventions (Idis) and the Watershed Management Council (WMC) is currently implementing a riparian rainforestation project in the Panigan-Tamugan watershed. The pilot project, which is being implemented in barangays Tambobong, Tamugan, Gumalang, Wines and Tawantawan in Baguio district, focuses on the planting of native trees along the riverbanks.

Idis Watershed campaigner, Joy Enriquez, said “(t)he heat is making it difficult for tree nurseries to thrive healthily, requiring more efforts from our community partners to ensure its survival.”

“Because of the heat, the transfer of the seedlings from the community nurseries to the planting areas has been postponed until the rains come so that the survival chances of the seedlings will increase,” said Enriquez.

In its latest advisory, Pagasa has already warned the public that the heat is expected to worsen due to the El Nino phenomenon. According to the weather bureau, this will even result in the delay of the rainy season.

Idis Executive Director Ann Fuertes underscored the importance of making sure that the seedlings survive the hot weather. “These past months, Mindanao has experienced a surge of tree planting activities. But all of it will go to waste if none of the saplings survive in this extreme heat,” she said.

“What is needed now is tree nurturing. Our responsibility doesn’t stop the moment we finish planting those seedlings. We need to ensure that they grow to maturity,” Fuertes said, adding that community residents and stakeholders could check their planted trees.

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