The formal blessing and inauguration of the Visayas State University (VSU) - Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Tree Clonal Nursery Facility located at the Department of Forest Science’s Ecotourism Forest Nursery and Training Facility, VSU Upper Campus, Visca, Baybay City, Leyte was held last April 23, 2018.

VSU President, Dr. Edgardo B. Tulin, led the contingent and hosted the event, which is simultaneous to the University’s 94th Founding Anniversary Celebration. Dr. Alicia L. Lustica, Center Head of the Biodiversity, Coastal, Wetlands and Ecotourism Research Center (BCWERC) - Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), graced the event as guest of honor, representing ERDB Director Henry A. Adornado.

The establishment of clonal nursery facility built in agreement with the DENR-ERDB for the production of quality planting materials, supports the DENR’s National Greening Program (NGP). VSU is one of the two State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in Eastern Visayas provided with funding to build such clonal structures in 2016.

The one-hectare complex includes a 10,000 capacity clonal misting facility with 5 rooting chambers, 20 concrete elevated hardening beds, 3 hedge gardens, and a potting shed. Currently, there are at least 20 species of dipterocarp and native trees raised in the clonal facility such as yakal, almon, toog, anislag, molave, narra, mangkono, hagakhak, white lauan, yakal saplingan, guisok-guisok, tindalo, kalantas, dao, bayog, mayapis, durok-durok (patsaragon), and others.

Dr. Lustica expressed gratitude for the invitation and opportunity to witness the significant event. She congratulated VSU for setting up a successful clonal project following a ₱3.5 million release in 2015. According to Dr. Lustica, the vigorous cloned materials currently raised in the facility are testimony of VSU’s commitment to support the NGP. She added that the advent of climate change and introduction of ecotourism into sustainability plans for the clonal facilities are timely.

In view of the NGP timetable until the year 2028, Dr. Lustica assured that vast opportunities are available for institutions like VSU to engage in the cloning of other species and in investing in bamboo and ornamentals. According to her, such possibilities will indeed make VSU worthy to be one of the best forestry schools in the country.

Moreover, Dr. Eduardo O. Mangaoang, Director of the Regional Climate Change Research and Development Center (RCCRDC) also believed that VSU stayed faithful to the structural plans of the DENR-ERDB clonal project, particularly in the construction of the facility.

President Tulin, on the other hand, also revealed that on top of its role to support the NGP in the production of native trees, VSU must outline plans for research, development and extension on clonal technology and ecotourism. He added that the technologies used in generating the cloned planting materials must be part of the instructional materials to be generated by the project.

Also in attendance during the formal ceremony were VSU Vice President for Research and Extension, Dr. Othello Capuno; VSU Department of Forest Science Head, Dr. Dennis Peque; and BCWERC Region 8 Station Head, For. Emma Germano.LA Corregidor - BCWERC