TACLOBAN CITY- To address climate change and promote sustainable practices, the Samar provincial government and partners have launched giant bamboo planting on Monday.
Spearheaded by Governor Sharee Ann Tan, the initiative aims to boost the bamboo industry within the Samar Island Natural Park (SINP) and at the same time, help to mitigate climate change impacts and foster economic growth.
Officials joined the kick-off at the SINP office in Paranas town.
Implemented in collaboration with various entities, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Northwest Samar State University, Samar State University, and support from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the project focuses on reforesting degraded forest lands and watershed.
Giant bamboo, also known as dragon bamboo, will be planted across seven project sites in five towns – Basey, Sta Rita, Matuguinao, Gandara, and San Jorge, according to Forester Wilfredo Lacambra of Samar Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office.
“This effort will involve 1,154 residents from 26 villages engaging in activities such as site preparation, planting, and documentation and cash-for-work program under the DSWD,” Lacambra said in a phone interview Monday.
The program targets to plant 550 hectares with 110,000 bamboo seedlings in the next five years with PHPP43.98 million in funding from the provincial government and DSWD.
In the first year, the program would require PHP15.43 million with PHP3.93 coming from DSWD under its Recovery and Rehabilitation Program, and PHP11.5 million from the provincial government, which will finance the supply of farm inputs, farm tools, and construction materials for the establishment of nursery among others.
A PHP8.12 million is needed for the next four years for the maintenance and protection expenses, which will be provided by the province.
“The initiative not only seeks to combat climate change but also aims to generate employment, improve living standards, and empower women in the agriculture sector,” Lacambra added.
The project is expected to bring socio-economic impact on the community as this would eventually augment the income of many households and employment.
The Samar Bamboo Project would not only focus on the five towns but could be replicated and scaled up in other areas.
Prior to the planting, officials joined the Samar Bamboo Investment Forum on November 15 at the SINP headquarters in Paranas town where partners expressed their commitment to develop the local bamboo industry. (PNA)