We are working to create greenbelt sites of new coastal mangrove forest that will benefit 720 households in six coastal communities through decreased vulnerability to coastal storms, typhoons and erosion through rehabilitation of mangrove forest.
Already, over 60 hectares of greenbelt have been identified where mangrove rehabilitation is being carried out. This land is arranged in four areas: Pedada 29.5 ha, Buntod 15 ha, Balaring 15 ha and, more recently, Ermita 1 ha. Plans for rehabilitation and management of these areas have been developed and put into practice, involving local communities as an integral part of the projects.
For example, during work at Buntod and Balaring in 2011 Planting and bagging activities in Balaring were done by NewBama members in Balaring. In a total of 171 from Capiz Medical Society, Filamer Christian University, PNP Panay, MENRO, SK Buntod, Buntod Brgy Officials and Buntod Katibyugan members participated in Buntod planting.
Another important aspect to the project is to increase the ability of local government, fish pond owners and communities to adhere to and enforce environmental laws in these green belts. To do this, making the commercial and environmental benefits of these buffer strips clear, especially their importance for coastal defence, is vital.
We have been involved in running ‘Policy Development Workshops’ in 2011 to develop much-needed local policies related to mangrove resources protection and management at local level and on a larger scale. Enabling our local partners to carry out mangrove law enforcement, ensuring greenbelt areas remain protected, has also been key. ZSL also helped to organise a training course on Mangrove Conservation, Management and Rehabilitation for 26 regional and local organizations to promote the greenbelt project.