Saving the uplands, saving the gulf

Sep. 30, 2008

Davao City-Who would have thought that saving marine life can be done by a simple planting of trees?

The Save Davao Gulf Foundation (SDGF) has thought of a promising strategy to forward their advocacy. In partnership with the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (PTFCF), SDGF gave life to the Save the Uplands, Save the Gulf Project.

The project is banking on the principle that one way of protecting the marine life in Davao region is by protecting the forest cover. Growing population has reduced the forest cover due to land conversion, commercial and agricultural activities as well as illegal logging.

It is believed that without any move to stop such destruction of the forest environment, the major effect will trickle down to the marine environment.

With the Davao Gulf encompassing five coastal cities and 18 municipalities, the gulf is extremely vulnerable to siltation and domestic or agro-industrial waste.

Aside from tapping the role of students and civic-oriented groups in planting trees, the project has now included the part of the indigenous people (IP) as they consider themselves as forest stewards. They can maintain, monitor, and protect the planted seedlings until they are fully grown.

Here, IPs will get something in return as payment for their environmental services. As they take care of the seedlings, they’ll be provided with agro-forestry seedlings that are good inter-crop materials,

To assure sustainability of the project, it will establish a nursery in Barangay Salaysay, Marilog District, Davao City, which is part of the Davao River Basin.

It will produce seedlings like dipterocarps, indigenous trees and fruit trees. Also, it will source disease-free abaca and coffee wildlings to be distributed to the IPs. (PIA)

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