MAGUINDANAO — A series of biodiversity assessment activities in Liguasan Marsh and Dimapatoy Watershed was conducted by the Biodiversity, Ecosystem, Research and Development Services (BERDS) of the MENRE last August 30 to September 11, 2021 to gather secondary data on the bamboo population and biodiversity status of the said protected areas.

Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) Sarifa T. Kusayin said that they had proposed a bamboo nursery, creation of heritage conservation of Liguasan Marsh and peat soil. The LGU of GSKP also issued a ‘No Illegal Fishing and Bird Collection’ ordinance to help preserve the jurisdiction’s biodiversity.

Municipal Mayor Abubakar P. Paglas shared that the LGU has been planning to plant bamboo trees in the barangay within the marsh and upstream between Datu Paglas and Lutayan, where the skirts of Alip River traverses down to Liguasan Marsh. He further stressed that during the 1980s, one could find wild boars, monkeys, and birds in the area, but due to exploitative human activities, the biodiversity in this area has toned down.

The BERDS team also visited North Upi and Dimapatoy Watershed Area in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao to collect data on the bamboo population in the barangay that covers the Dimapatoy Watershed Area. The biodiversity assessment reached the outskirts of the Dinaig reforestation area, wherein different species of trees thrive, including wild fauna.

The abundant bamboo population is found along the stretch of Dimapatoy River from Kibukay downward to Metro Cotabato Water District pumping station. The presence of bamboo plays a significant role in soil erosion control in the river bank. It also provides additional material to upland farmers for their houses, fuelwoods, and food (bamboo shoots.)