THE Mindanao Development Authority’s (MinDa) long-term strategy to integrate economy and environment in key development efforts is gaining ground as support for such move is seen firming up.
Mindanao Integrated River Basin and Watershed Development and Management Program (MIRBDMP), a flagship program espoused by MinDa, adopts the river basin and watershed as key platforms for planning.
The MIRBDMP seeks to provide an enabling mechanism for achieving environmental integrity and sustainable economic development.
“This is what we’ve been lacking (in Mindanao),” said Marites Ocampo of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Caraga Region.
Ocampo said several programs on watershed protection and management are being been done in Mindanao for years but these efforts were confined to a specific region and needed greater integration.
“We can’t keep fixing the problems in the lowlands, without addressing the alarming deforestation in the uplands,” Ocampo added.
Ocampo emphasized the need for a more harmonized approach in confronting the issue.
The MIRBDMP, which is set for launching in November this year, is expected to put emphasis on ecological value, capitalizing water resources, and optimizing the full potentials of the river basins and watersheds without compromising its carrying capacity.
One situation identified in MIRBDMP’s study is the massive siltation and riverbank migration along the Pulangi River caused by deforestation and soil erosion in the uplands that have been causing devastating episodes of flooding in downstream areas.
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