Mangroves and bamboo are among the commodities of the Commodity Roadmap of the Enhanced National Greening Program, a convergence initiative reforestation program the second phase of which is set to commence from 2017-2028. These two commodities shall be given prominence in the country’s campaign to combat climate change alongside the planting of beach forest species like Nipa, Bitaog, Bani and Talisay.
Environment Secretary Regina Paz Lopez underscores the significance of mangroves and bamboo in addressing climate change, Philippine setting.
In her statement delivered during the Joint High-Level Segment of COP 22 last November 17, 2016 at Marrakesh, Morocco, Secretary Lopez announced these two thrusts in addressing local climate change concerns. She further clarified that while working on keeping the levels of temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius, this need not curtail economic development in the country as she explained how mangroves and bamboo could also be drivers of economic growth while serving as climate change mitigation and adaptation responses.
Mangroves not only protect islands from storm surges. Mangroves as spawning grounds also help turn these islands into economic zones because of increased harvest of shrimps and other marine life.
Studies reveal the capability of bamboo to sequester carbon, thus its significant contribution to climate change mitigation. It has economic potential too as building material and other uses such as floor tiles, textiles and for low cost housing, among others.
The revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Executive 193 under Secretary Lopez enhancing the National Greening Program boost the role of social enterprise as means to improve the social wellbeing, environmental sustainability and economic performance of a community.
This is in line with her Marrakech statement that “adaptation, mitigation, inclusive economic growth does not have to be separate activities or choices and can all be achieved given the right approach.”
While recognizing the role of scientists in finding new ways for this right approach, Secretary Lopez is optimistic and looks forward to climate change models “that give the message – it can be done” on the ground.
The ENGP stands ready to the challenge as it aims to cover the remaining unproductive, denuded and degraded forestlands for production and protection purposes and also to achieve carbon neutrality.