Forester Emma M. Germano, station head of the BCWERC- Babatngon, Leyte was the resource person during the orientation on ‘Eco-tourism and Mangrove Plantation Program in Eastern Visayas’ last February 2, 2016 held at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Region 8 Conference Hall in Tacloban City. The said activitywas in coordination with the Department of Tourism (DOT) in the region, the Visayas Response Team (VRT), and Barangay LGU 83 Paraiso in San Jose, Tacloban City. Said orientation was for the benefit of visiting students of Kansei Gakuin University, Osaka, Japan and the IC-NET Limited Program.

Forester Germano discussed the salient facts of the mangroves ecosystems, its importance, and role in protecting coastal communities from natural disasters and other calamities. She also provided an overview of the Mangrove and Beach Forest Development Project (MBFDP) implementation under the National Greening Program in Eastern Visayas. Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Trina Dacuycuy of DOT also presented the Eastern Visayas Tourism Situationer while Forester Josephine Agustin of DENR Region 8 briefed visiting students on the National Greening Program implementation in the region.

During the open forum, Forester Germano revealed that Rhizophora species commonly called Bakauans significantly have helped sustained the damage caused by the Yolanda storm surges. Participants particularly inquired on specific mangrove species suitable for planting in Brgy. 83 Paraiso San Jose, the site of the rehabilitation project of the VRT led by Chisaki Sato. Forester Germano explained further that selection of suitable species depends upon the zone where the mangrove species should be planted, whether landward, middleward, or seaward. She also suggested ‘species-site matching’ as another method to be considered as well as determining the presence of barnacles, which has to be avoided if present in the area. She concluded that a reconnaissance survey should, therefore, be conducted to determine the zonation patterns, exposure, and the suitable species for planting.