TAWI-TAWI — The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE) – BARMM continues its validation and inspection activities under the Integrated Bangsamoro Greening Program (IBGP) this time in the island province of Tawi-Tawi.

With the Provincial and Community ENRE Offices of Tawi-Tawi, the MENRE Forest Management Services (FMS) conducted the said activities in Brgy. Simalak of Languyan and Brgy. Larap of Sitangkai on 24 and 25 March 2021, respectively.

“It is heartening to witness the progress of rehabilitating the mangrove forest in this part of the Autonomous Region,” FMS Director Abdul-Jalil S. Umngan said.

“We, in the Autonomous Region, is confident that through the leadership of PENREO Tawi-Tawi, we can say our programs and projects are faithfully implemented in partnership with the different sectors of the community,” he added.

Community ENRE Officer of Tawi-Tawi 2nd District Abdulmukim Maruji said that they will coordinate with the concerned local Chief Executives in Tawi-Tawi to help them declare reforested areas as Local Conservation Areas by their respective Sangunians.

“This is to ensure the protection and conservation of the rehabilitated areas,” CENREO Maruji said.

Saido Espiliro, CENRE Officer of 1st District, also expressed that being the heart of the Coral Triangle, the richest marine biodiversity across the globe, MENRE’s IBGP program is very timely to restore the mangrove forest as this serves as the breeding and spawning ground of different fish species, habitat for native birds and other faunal species.

“The mangrove also sequesters chunk of greenhouse gases that helps mitigate global warming, protect the local from big waves and storm surges, and hold siltation brought by soil erosion,” CENREO Espiliro explained.

PENREO Tawi-Tawi has implemented around 600 hectares of mangrove reforestation across the province in 2020 using Rhizophora Apiculata and Rhizophora Mucronata as planting materials. Additional 400 hectares is underway for 2021.
Last 9 January 2021, the FMS began launching its validation process to the 31 cooperators across Lanao del Sur, followed by Maguindanao Province on 5 February 2021.

IBGP is a banner program of BARMM under the leadership of Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim lodged at MENRE led by Executive Secretary and concurrent Minister Abdulraof A. Macacua.

It aims to grow 171.2 million trees/propagules covering about 159,000 hectares in BARMM forest lands. It also promotes poverty reduction, resource protection and management, productivity enhancement, food security and nutrition, normalization process, climate change mitigation and adaptation.

On 23 March 2021, MENRE Mines and Geoscience Services Director Raphael Remo together with the Ministry’s Administrative and Finance Management Services Director Al- Shariff Tamburani, invited the FMS for a visit to four (4) mining sites in Languyan Municipality on 23 March 2021.

Through MGS, FMS provided technical recommendations on how to execute vegetative rehabilitation by the mining companies.