‘Save the mangroves’: Nadine Lustre joins calls to save nature’s ‘shield vs typhoons’

December 28, 2021 - 4:10 PM
Aerial view of the mangrove forest in Del Carman, Siargao, photo of Nadine Lustre (Del Carmen website, Instagram/Nadine Lustre)

Nadine Lustre joined other Filipinos in advocating to save mangrove forest in the Philippines to protect them from strong typhoons.

These calls came after a report stated that the mangrove forest in Siargao Island saved some of the residents from the onslaught of Typhoon “Odette” (international name: Rai).

In an interview with One PH‘s “SaTotoo Lang” on December 21, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said that the massive mangrove forest in Siargao saved the residents from a storm surge detected in two to three areas there.

“Na-save po ‘yung mga kababayan natin doon dahil sa mangrove forest,” Andanar said.

“Buti na lang ay natural reserve ‘yung Siargao, walang illegal logging. Meron tayong anghel tulad ni MVP na tumutulong sa mga reforestation projects,” he added.

The largest mangrove forest in the Philippines that cover an area of approximately 4,000 hectares is located in the municipality of Del Carmen in Siargao.

The entire island is also the largest protected area under the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act (NIPAS) because of the mangrove forests located there.

The NIPAS is a classification and administration system of all “protected areas” in the country.

Under the NIPAS Act, protected areas are defined as the “identified portions of land and water set aside by reason of their unique physical and biological significance, managed to enhance biological diversity and protected against destructive human exploitation.”

Lustre, who is also an environmental advocate, later shared a short video clip that showed how mangroves protect coastlines.

“Save the mangroves,” she said.

The video clip she shared was a scale model a YouTuber named Shafiq Zikri released back in November 2016.

This video titled “How Mangrove Forests Protect the Coast” had since been re-shared over the years on Facebook and YouTube.

In the description, Zikri said that the scale model came from a Dutch research institute called Deltares.

Last June, Lustre teamed up with the Masungi Georeserve Foundation in Baraz, Rizal to urge the government to protect its forests and its biodiversity.

Call to preserve mangrove forests

Some Filipinos criticized the government for prioritizing the artificial dolomite beach along Roxas Boulevard over developing mangrove forests and environmental protection.

“Plant more mangroves, make it a project in all areas that are suitable to have it, it has a long term benefit for the people and nature. Than spend people’s money to non-essential like dolomite beach or corrupted by government officials,” one Twitter user said.

“We need mangrove forests and climate-resilient infrastructure,” another online user tweeted.

“Imagine if the government prioritized planting more mangroves than the dolomite beach,” another Twitter user added.

A group of environmentalists called AKAP KA Manila Bay – Bulacan voiced out its opposition to the Bulacan airport project that will result in the destruction of mangroves in the barangay of Taliptip in the province.

RELATED: Taliptip: A long goodbye where the sea will soon meet the sky

Conservation International-Philippines defined mangroves as shrub-like trees that serve as “buffers” to storm surges.

“They act as buffers to storm surges, forming a natural barrier between the ocean and the people who live on land, breaking waves and limiting the impact of heavy winds,” CI-Philippines explained on its website.

Mangroves can also help shape the country’s coastline, keep the coast from erosion and prevent coral bleaching.

READ: Mangroves are a natural shield against typhoons in the Philippines

To help raise awareness on mangrove ecosystems in the world, UNESCO designed July 26 as the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem or World Mangroves Day.