TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Sept 19 (PIA) -- The government is implementing a pilot project in Leyte’s Sab-a Basin Peatland involving community-led demonstration activities on sustainable use of peatlands as well as rehabilitation of degraded peatlands for the hydrology and conservation of biodiversity.
The Leyte Sab-a Basin is one of the two pilot sites for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Peatland Forest Project in the Philippines. The other project is in Agusan Del Sur.
The project is being implemented by the government through the DENR’s Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) with funding from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 8 Regional Executive Director Manolito D. Ragub has forged agreements with the municipal mayors of Alang-alang and Santa Fe in Leyte province for the project.
Under the agreement, Mayor Loreto Yu of Alang-alang town mobilized the residents of Barangays Divisoria, Langit and Tabangohay through their barangay chairmen in establishing one-hectare demonstration projects and rehabilitation of two-hectare degraded peatland areas in their barangays.
Also, Mayor Melchor Quemado of Santa Fe town asked the residents of barangay San Isidro through its barangay chairman to implement the same demonstration project and rehabilitation area.
Purificacion Daloos, chief of the Regional Public Affairs Office of DENR-8, reported that the community-led demonstration projects and rehabilitation areas will serve as learning sites for sustainable use and conservation of peatlands at the same time provide jobs to the community.
Daloos said this project also aims to create awareness and institute measures in the protection and sustainable use of areas surrounding the peatlands that allow cultivation for agricultural crops.
Each barangay involve will receive P175,000 for the development of the one-hectare demonstration project and two-hectare rehabilitation area.
This amount is part of the fund grant from the GEF through the IFAD, which is helping the Philippines and other (Asean) Peatland Forest Projects undertake activities for rehabilitation and sustainable use of peatland forests in South East Asia.
For 2012, the project has two components: providing small community-led demonstration project on sustainable use of peatlands and rehabilitation of degraded peatlands for the hydrology and conservation of biodiversity.
“The project may seem small but once the sites will become operational, it will create a multiplier effect, especially on the proper use, rehabilitation and conservation of the still lesser known peatlands ecosystems, as important habitat of biodiversity and as carbon sinks,” Ragub said. (EOT/PIA8)