Restore Mangrove Forests
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Mangrove conservation and restoration are an essential natural defense to Philippines coasts which are most vulnerable to flooding and erosion, sea level rise, and king tides. Mangroves serve as physical barriers, reducing the destructive impacts of winds and waves, thus serving as protection for people and property.
It is unfortunate that more than 35% of the world’s mangroves are gone. In the Philippines, over 50% of mangroves have been lost to fishpond conversion and other coastal development projects. Given these, there is a need to create and implement science-based laws and policies for the restoration and regeneration of mangroves.
While Philippine law requires the protection of mangroves, mangroves remain vulnerable to illegal cutting and conversion. A national law is necessary to restore and protect mangroves and beaches to help mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change by 2025.
Oceana officially launched its mangrove campaign in the Philippines in March 2022. To date, support to the proposed national coastal greenbelt bills have been gathered from lawmakers. Local coastal greenbelts have been identified and prioritized for legal protection as well.
Currently, the following bills are important in the campaign to conserve and restore mangroves:
SB 113 (National Coastal Greenbelt Act) filed by Sen. Nancy Binay
SB 591 (National Coastal Greenbelt Program) filed by Sen. Risa Hontiveros
HB 3303 (National Coastal Greenbelt Program) filed by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez
HB 3136 (Establishing Integrating Coastal Management, Establishing National Coastal Greenbelt Action Plan) filed by Rep. Jose Manuel F. Alba