NGCP’s mangrove project now a protected area and ecotourism site
IT started as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mangrove project of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). But it has now gained recognition as the mangrove project at Barangay Kulasihan, Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte has been transformed into an ecotourism site and locally-declared a protected area by the local council.
In partnership with the Lanao Aquatic Marine Fisheries Center for Community Development, Inc. (LAFCCOD) and Kulasihan Fisherfolks Association (KUFA), the mangrove reforestation project is part of NGCP’s efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The members of KUFA in 2018 planted an initial of 50,000 seedlings on the waters of Panguil Bay, occupying an area of approximately 7 hectares.
The project is unique from other tree planting programs as it adheres to a more holistic approach to ensure sustainability. Prior to the project’s commencement, LAFCCOD organized trainings to orient KUFA members on the importance of mangroves to the environment and the people. They also conducted research to determine the most suitable varieties to plant in the area.
“Our partnership with LAFCCOD and KUFA enabled us to integrate nursery establishment, planting, growing, parenting, and nursing of mangroves into our strategy. This gave us the confidence that we would reach our target of at least 80% survival of the mangroves, which we exceeded after our assessment,” the company, in a statement, said.
After 3 years of continuous management and monitoring, the site is now home to more than 46,000 mangroves of 3 different species.
From previously being a dump site, the protected mangrove area will also serve as the community’s natural sea barrier and a sanctuary for commercially valuable fish and other marine life.
The host community also transformed the area into an ecotourism site after building a boardwalk and cottages for visitors.
NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid. (PR)