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Philippines to grow mangroves to prevent storms

Updated: 2013-11-20 20:38
( Xinhua)

MANILA - The Philippines plans to restore mangrove and beach forests on some 380 kilometers of coastline in central Philippines, which was ravaged by typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) to protect local communities against the devastating effects of future storms, a senior government official said Wednesday.

The tragedy caused by Haiyan underscores the need to revive the region's degraded coastal forests to make its coastlines less vulnerable to extreme weather events, said Ramon Paje, secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

A massive tree-planting activity under the government's National Greening Program (NGP) may take place in coastal areas in worst-hit cities and municipalities including Tacloban Dulag in Leyte province, Guiuan, Llorente and Balangiga in Eastern Samar province and etc to provide livelihood to residents and allow them to take part in building a"green wall" against storm surges.

Paje said the department is also looking at the"reversion of abandoned government-leased ponds to mangroves" in order to boost coastal protection, food resources and livelihood opportunities for coastal communities.