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DENR tours media to selected protected areas in Quezon

by Ruel Orinday 
September 7, 2019



LUCENA CITY, Quezon - The Department of Environment of Natural Resources (DENR)-Region 4A in cooperation with CENRO Catanauan and the municipal government of San Andres recently conducted a two-day media exposure trip to selected protected areas in Quezon province.

According to DENR-4A, the activity aimed to promote biodiversity conservation measures and responsible tourism in protected areas.

Accompanied by the DENR personnel, media from GMA-7, DZAT-radio station in Lucena City and the Philippine Information Agency-4A, were toured to Palsabangon Mangrove Swamp Forest Reserve, Binahaan River Watershed Forest Reserve and Quezon Protected landscape in Pagbilao and Atimonan, Quezon as well as in Alibijaban Wilderness Area in San Andres town.

The Palsabangon Mangrove Swamp located at Ibabang Palsabangon in Pagbilao is one of the protected areas covering the 145-hectare Pagbilao Mangrove Experimental Forest. It was reported to have 48 mangrove species and the country’s most botanically diverse in terms of number of tree species, associates, and variations in the nature of topography and substrate.

Another protected area in Pagbilao is Binahaan River Watershed Forest Reserve located at Barangay Binahaan. The watershed forest reserve has an approximate area of 465 hectares mainly composed of lush tropical forest with numerous Dipterocarp species and other flora and fauna species.

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Katapang Waterfalls, can also be enjoyed by tourists while local tourists and visitors may participate in sightseeing, strolling, kayaking and birdwatching activities.

According to DENR-4A, the Quezon Protected Landscape (QPL) is another protected area established under under R.A No. 7586 or the NIPAS of 1992.

Under the Act, the QPL is managed by a Protected Area Management Board which was organized and operationalized in 1995. The Park is located within the municipalities of Pagbilao, Padre Burgos and Atimonan. It is traversed by the old Zigzag road and Maharlika Diversion Road towards the Bicol region.

The QPL is classified as a tropical rainforest and covered with Philippine Diopterocarp species and other tree species like Ficus, Diospyrus, Syszigium, rattan, shrubs, grasses, palm among others. As a park, it is rich in biodiversity and may also serve as an educational laboratory for various environmental disciplines.

Media participants joined locals in the mangrove planting and coastal clean-up participated by about 200 4Ps beneficiaries of San Andres.

“Mangrove planting will help us produce more fish, ito ay pinamamahayan ng maraming isda at malaking tulong ito para sa mga mangigisda na umaasa ng kanilang ikinabubuhay o source of income sa pamamagitan ng pangingisda at malaking tulong din ang paglilinis ng baybaying dagat upang maging ligtas kainin ang mga mahuhuling isda,” Catanauan CENRO Joselito Barros said

(Mangrove planting will help us produce more fish. This is where fish live and in turn helps fisher folk who rely on fishing as a source of income while keeping the seaside clean and the fish safe to eat.)

The Alibijaban Wilderness Area at barangay Alibijajaban, San Andres was the last protected area in the itinerary.

Alibijaban is a small enchanting paradise island with an approximate area of 430 hectares. About 289 hectares are alienable and disposable (A and D) lands while 141 hectares are timberland. The seaward portion of the timberland area is covered with shrubs and other litoral species while patches of second growth forest are found growing in the middle portion.

Approximately 21.19 hectares of the area need rehabilitation. The A & D portion of the area are planted with coconut, fruit trees, ube and corn which are some of the major sources of livelihood in the community. Coral reefs can also be found at depths of 15 to 40 feet almost completely encircling the whole island.

Local tourists or visitors may conduct strolling, sightseeing, kayaking and swimming. (Ruel Orinday/PIA-Quezon)

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