UBRDEC Center Head Gregorio E. Santos Jr. (left photo) discusses the potentials of bamboo in biodiversity conservation and provision of sustainable livelihood during the coordinating conference in Camp Guillermo Nakar, Lucena City on September 15, 2020.

The Urban and Biodiversity Research, Development and Extension Research Center (UBRDEC) was tapped by the Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command (AFP SolCom) in the implementation of the latter’s psychosocial project in Mangayao Agri-Eco Tourism Park, Brgy. Marao, Padre Burgos, Quezon.

The AFP-SolCom recognizes that everyone is affected by the pandemic, especially, in psychological aspect. The number of unemployed is increasing and the pandemic is causing the depression of people. To help in addressing this issue and at the same time assist in the rehabilitation of Padre Burgos affected by mining activities, the AFP SolCom created the project in the said locale.

UBRDEC supports the project by providing technical assistance as the AFP SolCom plans to launch Kaalamang Kabuhayan Para sa Wastong Kabuhayan Natin or KAWAYAN Academy. The AFP SolCom specifically wants to plant bamboos in the identified site and involve the community in rehabilitation and biodiversity conservation and provide sustainable livelihood.

KAWAYAN Academy will educate the target stakeholders on bamboo propagation and biodiversity conservation. This will serve as school for them where they can be productive and emerge as environmental warriors and at the same time have sustainable livelihood.

During the coordinating conference held in Camp Guillermo Nakar, Lucena City, UBRDEC Center Head Gregorio E. Santos Jr. pointed out the importance of bamboo in biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and its different uses such as construction materials, food, furniture, handicrafts, to name some. He discussed how it can help the target stakeholders at the same time be an aid in the environmental issues in Padre Burgos.

AFP SolCom Bgen Antonio R. Lastimado commended the UBRDEC Center Head, “Thank you for your support to this project. Your presentation helped us recognize the potentials of bamboo and gave us confidence that this project will help our people,” he remarked. Participants via online application also gave their support to the project and acknowledged the importance of the conduct of the project. UBRDEC Center Head Santos pledged to support the project continually and offered the provision of technical experts who can help them in the project implementation. Ann Valerie V. Gillado, UBRDEC