Sustainable livelihood for the impoverished fisherfolk is the ultimate goal of mangrove rehabilitation and preservation. Planted seedlings are expected to flourish in a few years and serve as home for various fauna and flora, as well as perpetual source of food and livelihood for the fisherfolk.
This May, a total of 500 mangrove seedlings of the Rhizophora mucronata species, locally known as “bakawan”, found new home by the sea as a mangrove reforestation initiative of Barangay Cherry Mobile. The active participation of the local people who work primarily as fisherfolk and pledge to take care of seedlings until it reach maturity is the key toward attaining the goal of sustainable livelihood.
Cherry Mobile employees and scholars volunteered to do the planting of mangrove seedlings. They had to wait for the low tide time of the day in order to be able to walk through the waters to the right location for planting. This is to make sure that the seedlings will not be planted too far into the shore or on top of the sea grass. Kingfisher Association, a people’s organization based on the area and composed of fisherfolk, was the supplier of the seedlings and also acted as support during the tree planting.
On site, an active member of Kingfisher Association slashed the seedling bags open for easy transferring of the seedlings. Other volunteers carried batches of seedlings to the planting area and also assisted in tilling the ground where the seedlings were to be planted. Volunteers had to make sure that the seedlings were securely placed so that when the tide came back in, they would not be swept away by the waters.
Barangay Cherry Mobile believes that responsible business is taking good care of the environment, and that attaining genuine social development requires active participation from stakeholders. The importance of this activity lies on its contribution in rehabilitating the denuded areas and to help improve the mangrove forest. The activity also helped the community in terms of patronizing their means for living. It also proved beneficial for the volunteers as it gave them an opportunity to go off their regular routine and find time to get in touch with nature and other people.
This Mangrove Tree Planting held in Lian, Batangas, is an environmental project held in coordination with King Fisher Association through the Center for Social Concern and Action of De La Salle University.