Issue of October 8, 2017
Mt. Province

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57,000 free seedlings dispersed in UAWR
by Jane B. Cadalig

Around 57,000 forest and fruit trees saplings were distributed to and planted by inhabitants and stakeholders of the Upper Agno Watershed Reserve (UAWR) from January this year to present.

The seedlings were propagated at the Ambuclao Nursery of the Upper Agno River Watershed Area Team-National Power Corporation (UARWAT-NPC).

The seedling production and dispersal program prioritized indigenous peoples’ organizations and community members as beneficiaries.

With the demand for the National Greening Program, in which supplemental tree planting is massively promoted, the project is extended to various local government units from the municipal to the barangay levels.

With the assistance of UARWAT, LGUs through their Municipal Environmental and Natural Resources Office and Municipal Planning and Development Office supervised the planting in their respective areas with the participation of the barangays, Bantay Watershed Task Force (formerly Barangay Forest Protection Team), Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, NPC-SNAPBI Technical Cooperation, schools, youth organizations, and women’s groups, among others.

Forester Onofre S. Castro, UARWAT section chief, said 10,000 seedlings were scattered in the different barangays and remaining forests of Buguias during this quarter, in support of the town’s to conserve and protect its nine identified communal forests as incorporated in their Local Development Investment Plan.

The nursery-produced species usually requested by the communities are fruit trees like mango, jackfruit, guyabano, coffee, lychees, rambutan, avocado, calamansi, star apple, cacao, longgan, santol, chico, guapple, atis, lanzones, cashew, and mabolo; while the forest trees are narra, golden showers, ilang-ilang, gmelina arborea, Benguet pine, mahogany, fire tree, talisay, and calliandra.

Other than the communal forests, these seedlings were sown in denuded areas, along barangay and national roads, vacant lots in schools, and open areas previously used as pasture land and for kaingin.

UARWAT has a target seedling production of 100,000 from June 2016 to May 2017 subject for dispersal; but around 17,282 was exposed to mortality due to damping off during the rainy season. At the moment, 40,300 seedlings are to be dispersed until December.

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