Two women-led fisher folks’ associations in Quezon planted mangrove propagules along the coastal area of Barangay Aramaywan on March 7.
An estimated 400 propagules were planted by members of the Cherish Fisherfolk’s Association (CFA) and the Labuan Women’s Association (LWA).
Susie Guzarem, a member of the CFA, said they initiated the project to make the area productive for their livelihood.
“Malaking tulong ang pagtatanim sa aming mga nasa mangrove community kasi ito yong iniitlugan ng katulad ng mga nagla-lobster, malalaking sugpo, hipon lalo na sa mga alimango, alimasag, marami kami nakukuha dyan. Importante kasi yon na imbes bibili kami, dito lang sa mangrove namin ay makakakuha kami,” she said.
Guzarem said that community members are more involved in maintaining the plantation and securing that there will be no illegal loggers that would trespass the area and cut mangrove trees.
“Una ay masaya kami, pangalawa ay nakakatulong sa amin kasi lalo na kapag nagtatanim kami, minsan yong LGU ay nagbibigay sa amin ng semilya ng seaweeds, lubid ganyan. Kung nahuhuli ay tatlong araw pinapatabas o may penalty. Binabawal na yong pag-uuling dito,” she said.
Guzarem said the activity was also part of their project with the Protect Wildlife Women Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) and as a support activity in celebration to the Women’s International Day on March 8 and World Wildlife Day on March 3.
Protect Wildlife Chief of Party Rebecca Paz said that the initiative of the community is an essential move to protect where their livelihood comes from and the security of the area in times of calamities.
“May functions ang mangrove hindi lang sa kabuhayan nila kung hindi pati sa security din ng area. Protection din siya sa surge, katulad ng nangyari sa Yolanda, that is also one way. But also kung ang kabuhayan nila ay dependent sa coastal resources so they also need to protect talaga kasi yon ang nagpapayaman ng kanilang kabuhayan,” she said.
The mangrove planting was joined by representatives of Quezon MENRO, local DENR, and Special Boat Unit of the 2nd Special Operations Unit-Maritime Group.
Glendy Medina Cacho, barangay captain of Isugod said they are extending their full support to the initiatives of the members of the community.
“Ngayon lang yan nangyari simula nong nagpapatanim kasi, ngayon lang nangyayari na tinaga yong bakawan, ang pagkakasabi sa akin ay nagagalit daw dahil walang madaanan ng bangka. Pinapaimbestigahan namin para malaman kung sino talaga ang gumawa,” Cacho said.
Quezon Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) Esperanza Caabay added that some barangays nowadays have a high awareness and within their level, issues of offenders are immediately addressed.
“Masyadong empowered ang community, pumapasok na lang ang LGU kapag hindi na kaya i-resolve ng barangay. Meron din kaming mga ginawang memorandum of agreement nan aka-state doon ano yong mga duties and functions ng bawat agency, at least defined doon kung paano masu-sustain,” Caabay said.