Some 35-hectare in Brgy. Hinactacan, La Paz is being eyed by Iloilo City Government as a proposed mangrove forest in the metropolis.
Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, son Miguel, and City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Engr. Noel Z. Hechanova, together with officials of Global Business Power in Ingore, La Paz, checked the site overlooking from the top of Panay Energy Development Corp. (PEDC) coal plant.
“The said area is our prospect location for our new projects, the city hospital and the Mangrove Ecopark Forest,” Treñas said.
UPDATE 7/24/2020: Artist Perspective of the proposed P52-million Hinactacan Eco-Park which will feature 2,451-meter Boardwalk, Visitors Center, and Gazeebo and Rest Area.
Mangroves are very essential in climate change resiliency as it fights greenhouse gas emissions by being a major carbon sink. Carbon sinks remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
“They sequester carbon dioxide and make that into their leaves, into their stem and keep it into their biomass,” said Dr. Rex Sadaba of the University of Philippines-Visayas who conducted the study on mangroves in 2017.
“When the leaves fall, they accumulate into the soil and over time it is accumulating, the area becomes a sink for carbon. The moment we remove the mangroves, we increase the decomposition of the organic matter that increases the release of the carbon dioxide back to the atmosphere,” Dr. Sadaba added.
Mangroves also prevent soil erosion and act as sea wall that protects communities from big waves and storm surges.
“Now, we are developing not just the commercial spots of the city but also the far-flung areas to fully level up Iloilo,” Treñas added.