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PIA Press Release

Sectors to converge in Maasim to celebrate 22nd International Coastal Cleanup

General Santos City (14 September) -- About a thousand individuals will converge in Sitio Asnalang, Maasim, Sarangani Province on September 15, 2007 to celebrate the 22nd International Coastal Cleanup and launch the Green Philippines Program, a massive greening project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Members of the local government unit (LGU) of Maasim, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas SarGen Chapter (KBP-SarGen), Rotary International District 3860 Zone 3A, Notre Dame Siena School of Marbel, DENR Region 12, and the USAID-funded Philippine Environmental Governance 2 Project (EcoGov) will gather in Maasim on this significant day to collect trash scattered along the coast, conduct a medical mission for the local community and plant mangroves in the area.

Joining the activities on Saturday is Miss Teen Philippines 2004 Stephanie Mae Sol, a known supporter of environmental efforts.

"We are very happy about this new development. More and more sectors have signified interest in rehabilitating Maasim's mangrove forest. So far, five mangrove planting activities have already been conducted with more than 1,300 seedlings of bakhaw (Rhizophora mucronata) already planted and so far, survival of the planted mangroves has been good. The activity on the 15th will be the sixth and we are looking forward to this activity," says Rolando Tuballes, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer of Maasim.

Planting mangroves in Sitio Asnalang and ridding its shorelines of garbage were efforts started by the LGU of Maasim, KBP-SarGen and EcoGov, a project implemented with DENR 12. The idea was hatched during a workshop on good environmental governance in January this year. The first mangrove planting activity was conducted in May 3, 2007 with over 60 broadcast media practitioners, students, Maasim LGU employees, EcoGov personnel, and Sitio Asnalang community members participating. The wide media coverage of the event increased public awareness and elicited strong support from various sectors who took interest and started helping out in protecting Maasim's mangrove forests.

To formalize the effort to protect and save Maasim's mangrove forests, the LGU of Maasim, KBP-SarGen, Rotary International District 3860 Zone 3A, and the Notre Dame Siena School of Marbel will sign a pledge of commitment on Saturday. The four parties will collaborate in rehabilitating and protecting Maasim's mangrove forest. The group will pledge to visit the area every third Saturday of September about the same time the International Coastal Clean-up Month begins to be celebrated to replant and inspect the growth and survival of their planted mangroves The community of Sitio Asnalang, who is also part of the commitment, will be responsible for looking after the mangroves planted. (EcoGov/PIA SarGen) [top]

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