LAMITAN, Basilan — The Biodiversity, Ecosystems, Research and Development Services (BERDS) of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy (MENRE) – BARMM conducted a biodiversity assessment of the Basilan Natural Biotic Area and Sulu’s Bud Dajo and Lake Seit in a series of ocular visits last 3-9 November 2021.

During the BERDS’ visit to Basilan Natural Biotic Area on 3-5 November, the team monitored the status of the biotic area and its buffer zone.

“What we need to do is to delineate the areas which are under the BARMM and check the protection activities that will be implemented,” Forester Marietta Ladjiman, Provincial ENRE Officer of Basilan, said.

It has been found out that there is a need to re-establish the eight Stations and the complete delineation of the Biotic Area.

Proclamation No. 321, s. 2000 declared the Basilan National Park situated in the municipalities of Lamitan, Sumisip, Tipo-Tipo, and Isabela in Basilan as a protected area and its peripheral areas as buffer zone under Republic Act No. 7586 (NIPAS Act of 1992). The national park, since then, has been known as Basilan Natural Biotic Area. Due to RA 11054, the Biotic Area has been divided into two, with the first half under the BARMM and the remaining under Region IX.

Bud Dajo and Lake Seit visited

JOLO, Sulu — On 6-9 November, the same team conducted an initial assessment of Bud Dajo and Lake Seit in Sulu. It was observed in Bud Dajo that there are many existing naturally grown fruit trees, coffee, abaca, hardwood trees, and species of birds. It is known to be a haven of flora and fauna. The BERDS was successful in the activity, thanks to the assistance of the Special Forces 1101st Brigade Commanding Officer Col. Benito Ramos Jr.

The second part of the assessment focused on the proposed Localized Protected Area—the Lake Seit in Panamao. PENRE Officer Pao Dambong mentioned that “there is a need to create sustainable protection activities in all of our national parks and proposed conservation areas.”

The Bud Dajo or Mount Dajo is the second-highest point in the province of Sulu. Bud Dajo National Park was created under Presidential Proclamation No. 261, dated February 28, 1938, and covers 230 hectares.

Present during the assessements were MENRE Chief BMS Baharodin B. Baulo, Chief ERDS Annie D. Dumamba, Senior EMS For. Datun K. Salipada, Senior SRS Joeffry L. Kamid, LAgr., For. Wildanah U. Manalasal, Gatocod B. Rascal, Ph.D, For. Bairaiya U. Salipada, and SRA Al-Azhar B. Silo.