After almost six months of preparations and activities, the ATO held its final community capacity building workshop and mangrove planting activity as part of its Mag-aba Mangrove Reforestation Project (MMRP) last 20-21 May 2018.
The ATO-Mag-aba Mangrove Reforestation Project (MMRP) Participants and Volunteers after the second mangrove tree planting activity last 21 May 2018. (Image from Von Santillan)
The workshop and mangrove planting activities were joined by 42 participants, mostly elementary students and teachers from the local Pandan Central School, volunteers from KAPAZA (a local youth community organization), MMRP Volunteers and a few representatives from ATO and its ClimatEducate Project in East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific (EASEAP) team.
“Before the planting activity, please take note that you are not there to just plant, your mission there is to grow them (mangroves).” said Prof. Rebecca Tandug-Barrios, a researcher and climate leader who lectured about community-led mangrove reforestation.
The workshop encouraged participants to launch their own environmental initiatives and as well as to continue the support for the creation of a wetlands protected area in Mag-aba, a coastal community in the northern tip of Panay Island in Central Philippines where the project is being implemented. The project has 20 youth volunteers who conduct monthly monitoring of the mangrove seedlings in the project area since January 2018.
“It’s a mutual long-term investment for both the community and the wetlands. Coastal communities nowadays most especially here in the Philippines must take into account of providing “reserve portions” of wetlands for the very own protection of our environment and fishing livelihood which the local community depends on. ” said John Carl T. Alonsagay, MMRP Research and Outreach Coordinator.
By June 2018, the ATO-MMRP Team is aiming to target the classification of the project area as a “wetland protected area” by the local authorities, providing the sustainability and opportunity for the local community to take over and continue the reforestation initiative.
Updated coordinates of ATO's Mag-aba Mangrove Reforestation Project Area and the proposed "Mag-aba Wetland Protected Area". (The geographical imagery of the area is not updated yet by Google Earth since 2016.)
The project is made possible through the support of the UNEP - Eco Peace Leadership Center (EPLC) of the Kangwon National University in South Korea and the Yuhan-Kimberly, Ltd. [END]