Twenty-one Local Government Unit (LGU) members from Lian, Batangas participated in Lakbay Aral in Los Baños Experimental Station (LBES) and other ERDB facilities last August 06, 2015.

The participants, headed by Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) Alvin Jonson, were welcomed by Ms. Veronica Sinohin, OIC-Chief of ERDB's Technology Transfer Division, upon their arrival at the ERDB office. To orient the participants, Ms. Sinohin briefly discussed ERDB's history and its functions. She also explained the objectives and mechanics of the Lakbay Aral.

Ms. Florita Siapno, OIC-Chief of ERDB's Forest Ecosystems Research Division, also greeted the participants and thanked them for their participation on ERDB's efforts to raise awareness on sustainable development. She also expressed her hopes for their cooperation in the protection and conservation of the environment and natural resources.

The group started the activity by visiting the gallery at the ERDB building where different bamboo and rattan products were displayed. Afterwards, they headed to LBES, ERDB's demonstration area, to observe different species of bamboo, palm, and other plants growing in the area. Proper bamboo propagation was also demonstrated.

At noon, the participants headed to the ERDB's Research and Demonstration Zone (RDZ) for the Charcoal Briquette Technology and Clonal Propagation Facility. At the RDZ, ERDB technical staff Mr. Cerjay Jimenez and Mr. Niro Villaceran demonstrated the proper propagation of wood plants, and the process of making charcoal briquettes from waste products, respectively.

Moreover, upon prior request of MENRO Jonson, the group had a cross-site visit to the Bureau of Plant Industry's (BPI) vermicomposting facilities. BPI personnel Ms. Eugenia Buctuanon presented a lecture on proper steps on starting a vermicompost. The group also toured around BPI's premises to see an actual vermicomposting site.

After the itinerary, Mr. Ben Abellara and Ms. Risa Medrano, two of the participants, acknowledged the ERDB for the experience and the things that they have learned from Lakbay Aral. In return, Ms. Sinohin assured the participants that ERDB is more than willing to provide information and technical assistance on whichever technology they may find suitable in their community. Melanie N. Ojeda, TTD