The Biodiversity, Coastal, Wetlands and Ecotourism Research Center (BCWERC) Station in Region 8 led by Forester Emma Germano participated in the ‘Mangrove Tree Planting and Growing for Green City’ in Brgy. 83-A, Paraiso, San Jose, Tacloban City last February 4, 2018. The community-based mangrove planting event was sponsored by the Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA)-Japan, in cooperation with the Brgy. Local Government of Paraiso and the Paraiso Tacloban Fisherfolks, Mangrove & Eco-Tourism Development Association (PAFMET) to commemorate the final year of OISCA Mangrove Rehabilitation Project in Tacloban City.

Joining BCWERC were representatives from the Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 8, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), civic organizations like the Rotary Club District 360 Leyte Gulf, Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity and Ph Haiyan and students from the Eastern Visayas State University and Liceo del Verbo Divino. The event participated in by 267 participants, planted a total of 2,000 seedlings of Miapi (Avicennia officinalis) at 1m x 1m distance between rows of existing Rhizophora plantation along the coast lining Cancabato Bay in Paraiso. This coastal community was badly hit by storm surges during typhoon Yolanda.

During the opening program, Forester Geronimo expressed delight and gratitude to OISCA, Brgy. Paraiso and PAFMET for their unwavering commitment to establish a mangrove plantation, one of the keys in improving coastal community resilience in Tacloban.

Currently, BLGU-Paraiso and PAFMET with OISCA assistance manage a mangrove nursery of Rhizophora, Avicennia and Nipa. It has started its venture as a mangrove seedlings provider selling planting materials as part of its strategy for sustainability.

BCWERC Region 8 partners with various agencies in the implementation of the OISCA Mangrove Rehabilitation Project since its inception in 2013 following super typhoon Yolanda. Likewise, it has provided capability development and technical assistance to the project including the training on Mangrove Nursery Operations and Plantation Management and the Technology Forum on Mangrove Rehabilitation through Cluster Planting both held last year in Paraiso, Tacloban City. Letecia A. Corregidor, BCWERC