The Watershed and Water Resources Research Center (WWRRC) participated in the training on Mangrove and Beach Forest Rehabilitation and Conservation: Convergence and Stock-Taking among Provincial Government – Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PG-ENROs) and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENROs) which was held on February 5 – 9, 2018 at Hotel Stotsenberg, Clark, Pampanga. The training was initiated by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) for Regions 1, 2, 3, 4A and CAR. WWRRC participants include Dr. Carlos S. Arida, Sr. (Center Head), Dr. Camilo C. Domingo, Jr. (Chief, Special Projects), Luciano C. Bato (Supervising SRS), Chita A. Hidalgo (SRS II), Darwin Ablang (SRS I) and Angelito G. Gagto (SRA).

The mangrove experts delivered lectures on Coastal Ecosystems: Structure, Functions and Interrelationships; and Mangrove Ecology: Understanding the basics, Mangrove and Beach Forest Taxonomy, Mangrove and Beach Forest Nursery and Mangrove outplanting, monitoring and maintenance. For. Alvin Gestiada of ERDB gave a lecture on nursery site selection and establishment.

Participatory and hands-on approaches were used during the training. After the lectures, the participants and trainors proceeded to Subic Bay, Olongapo City at the Triboa Bay Mangrove Park for actual identification of mangrove and beach forest species, site selection/identification, outplanting, and monitoring and maintenance. Likewise, mangrove nursery in Tribong Ambala Ng Pastolan which is along the way was visited. During the visit, thousands of fruit bats were seen and observed hanging on the branches of Kupang trees and momentarily a bird watching was held. This indicates the rich biodiversity in the said mangrove area.

As an output of the training, the participants came up with the Mangrove and Beach Forest Rehabilitation Plans per Region which were presented simultaneously with other inputs and comments from the participants and lectures.

A book entitled “Mangrove and Beach Forest Species in the Philippines” authored by Jurgenne H. Primavera, et.al., published by the DENR – ERDB, College, Los Baños, Laguna and copies of Technical Bulletins pertaining to Mangrove and Beach Forest development were given to all the participants during the training.

The training’s closing ceremony was highlighted by the presence of the Mangrove and Beach Forest Development Program (MBFDP) Assistant National Coordinator, Dr. Carmelita I. Villamor. The training was a huge success considering that all participants, including WWRRC technical personnel learned much about mangrove and beach forest rehabilitation. Camilo C. Domingo Jr., WWRRC