25 Sep An “Indigenous” Species Tree Park to be Set Up in Cugman-Malasag Area
A 10-hectare Tree Park that will house native or “indigenous” tree species will be set up in the southeast mountainous suburban outskirts of this city. The particular tree park area will be at the Mapawa Nature Park on the outskirts of the Cugman-Malasag area. According to Mr. Edgardo Callanta, chief of the Provincial Environmental Resources Office (PENRO) in Misamis Oriental, the first planting of the tree seedlings for the park will take place on October 3, led by local and provincial officials and stakeholders as well as environmental officials.
He made it clear that the seedlings are now ready and waiting for the said date at the PENRO station on the outskirts of Malasag in Cugman. All the tree seedlings are from the Dipterocarps, a family of genera and species of mainly tropical lowland rainforest trees, such as Talisay Gubat, Kalumpit, Kalingaw, Red Lawa-an, Bagtikan, Tanguili, and Lawa-an.
Mr. Callanta further added that the indigenous Dipterocarps species is quite difficult to reproduce since this unique species to the area will only bear flowers when it is 17 or 18 years of age. Most of the seedlings were obtained from mountain forest villages in Hindangon, Urika, and Minalwag, all under the city of Gingoog in eastern Misamis Oriental. Other seedlings were taken from the mountainous central Misamis Oriental town of Claveria and the western Misamis Oriental coastal town of Initao.
It is hope that this planned natural Tree Park will open up interest for other people to cultivate and awareness for the environment and rainforests of Northern Mindanao, and for Mindanao as a whole. It can also serve as an educational site for students and other groups to visit in order to study or observe the existence of native and indigenous rainforest species that are unique only in the province of Misamis Oriental. This is most important especially for the younger generation who need more awareness on the further preservation and protection of the country’s rainforests and tree species that greatly contribute to the natural ecosystem.
The PENRO is directly under the Department of Natural Resources, Region 10 (DENR-Region X) and serves as a sort of field office and forest station as well as a nursery compound for the planting and study of indigenous flora and fauna in a particular province. PENRO stations were created by virtue of Presidential Executive Order No. 192 in 1987, or what is known as the “Reorganization Act of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.” This executive order called for the formation of PENRO and CENRO (City Environment and Natural Resources Office) in all DENR regional offices.
We all need to remember that all forests in our country play a very important part in the overall ecosystem of the whole country, and not just for Mindanao. As many people would use an overused cliché, “we need to start with small things,” the formation of this Tree Park is actually a big step, and hopefully, our natural forests will transcend beyond this 10-hectare park.