BFAR partners with state universities and colleges for mangrove replanting
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has tied up with state universities and colleges (SUCs) to implement the Philippine National Aquasilviculture Program (PNAP) in achieving its target of planting 100 million mangroves in three years time.
BFAR National Director Asis G. Perez told members of the Davao media that BFAR had so far planted five million mangroves nationwide, and that it targeted to plant 20 million more in cooperation with SUCs through PNAP.
“We are moving forward and fast since we opened the program in December (2011),” he said.
Infused with P270 million funding in 2011 and P100 million in 2012, PNAP is aimed at ensuring “resource sustainability, attaining food security and alleviating poverty.”
Last December 16, 2011, BFAR signed a memorandum of agreement with the Commission on Higher Education to roll out the program on aquasilviculture defined as “an environment-friendly enhanced fisheries production in the wild that involves the growing of fish and other aquatic organisms within a mangrove area without cutting a single tree.”
Linking PNAP with SUCs runs in line with the mandate of CHED “to direct or redirect purposive research by institutions of higher learning to meet the needs of agro-industrialization and development” based on the Higher Education Act of 1994.
Under the 1997 Higher Education Modernization Act, SUCs are “authorized to develop linkages with other institutions and agencies” to pursue their purposes and objectives.
PNAP is linked with about 80 SUCs nationwide. Each are entitled of a grant worth P3.4 million for mangrove rehabilitation project and community-based multispecies hatchery project aside from implementing an aquasilviculture project.
PNAP implementers in Davao Region are Davao del Norte State College, Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology and Southern Philippine Agri-Business and Marinae and Aquatic School of Technology.
Perez said BFAR is into massive growing of mangrove because it is primarily concerned with building a suitable habitat for fish to propagate.
“We are shifting from the old paradigm of cutting trees to grow fish. Now we grow trees before growing fish,” he said.
Under PNAP, the mangrove rehabilitation project pays out planters a total of P6 for every fully grown and live mangrove tree that they have planted.
BFAR Regional Director Fatma Edris said such PNAP component is allotted with P1.1 million funding (of the total P3.4 million SUC grant) which covers the P13,000 monthly salary of community organizers assigned to manage and oversee the nurturing the Mangrove propagules.
Edris expected more mangroves would be planted as local government units were found getting involved in it as part of their local tree growing project like Tagum City, which ventures into massive growing of mangroves along river banks and tidal creeks.
Linking schools and LGUs, Edris cited PNAP as BFAR’s means of giving continuing assistance to LGUs in mangrove rehabilitation that would eventually lead to increase in yield of fish production. – By Jeanevive D. Abangan (PIA) 3rd of July 2012