Creation of biodiversity corridor in South Cotabato pushed

The following is my news article on Municipality of Tupi's initiative to push for the establishment of biodiversity corridor to further protect the remaining forests at the foot of Mt. Matutum. It was published May 15, 2012 in the Nation Section of BusinessWorld Newspaper. Photos are mine but were not part of the newspaper article.
Here's one piece of good news for the environmental and tourism advocates and for the travelers who have fallen in love with Tupi and its rich biodiversity.

The imposing Mt Matutum (far right) and its neighboring peaks amidst the vast pineapple plantations
Creation of biodiversity corridor in South Cotabato pushed

TUPI, SOUTH COTABATO -- A group of local officials have gathered here last week to push for the establishment of a biodiversity corridor project within the Mount Matutum Protected Landscape in a bid to avert the rapid loss of wildlife in the watershed area.

The gathering focused on harmonizing existing environmental activities to institutionalizing environmental and ecotourism initiatives in the area, Rolando T. Visaya, Tupi information and tourism officer told BusinessWorld in an interview. 
A workable plan to empower local communities in sustainable management initiatives as well as other projects within the vicinity of the 2,300-meter high volcano, currently being prepared, Mr. Visaya said.
Tupi Mayor Reynaldo S. Tamayo, Jr. has signified support to the project, which will focus on the rehabilitation of the banks of Linan River and the barangays covered by the Mount Matutum protected area.
Within the Mount Matutum Protected Landscape still exists a 14,000-hectare forest reserve with about 3,000 hectares considered a primary forest. 
Landayaw Peak in Linan Village, Tupi
Mr. Tamayo said the commitment of local government units in the establishment of the corridor is essential in giving balance to environment and development. "Such balance must be looked into as we safeguard nature and examine incoming development initiatives especially within the protected landscape, Mr. Visaya said.
Mount Matutum, the highest peak in Central Mindanao, outside Mt. Apo, is presently surrounded by pineapple, corn and banana plantations. 
On its foot lies Barangay Linan where a Tarsier Sanctuary is being developed for wildlife conservation and ecotourism.
The adjacent Miasong, Kablon and Acmonan villages serve as vegetable and fruit baskets of South Cotabato. 
Vast plantations, including cut-flower, are operating on volcanic soil in the 
Mount Matutum Protected Landscape.
Dr. Nelson M. Pampolina, an associate professor from the University of the Philippines - Los BaƱos, who served as guest facilitator in the recent gathering, said biodiversity is very essential for survival and that it is the peoples’ responsibility to take care of natural resources around them. 
Mr. Pampolina emphasized the significance of instituting a biodiversity corridor for wildlife preservation and protection for the remaining watershed area. 
Ali M. Hadjinasser, Protected Areas and Wildlife Division chief of the regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources underscored the importance of establishing a biodiversity corridor within the Mount Matutum watershed.
Mr. Hadjinasser said Mount Matutum’s watershed supplies roughly 30% of the water requirements of South Cotabato and Sarangani provinces, as well as General Santos City. 
Massive conversion of forest areas into agricultural plantations, he said, is a major threat to the Mount Matutum watershed area. 
Mount Matutum is an inactive volcanic mountain that is the location of the headwaters of the five major rivers in the area, which drain into Sarangani Bay and the Liguasan Marsh. 
It is thought that the Philippine Eagle may also nest in the forests of Mount Matutum, but few are likely to be found here as the forests have been greatly denuded. -- Louie O. Pacardo

1 comment:

  1. Ang Landayaw ay part ng Brgy. Linan, parang Hindi? Parang part ng Brgy. Cebuano....


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