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PIA Press Release

Environment code for Aklan out soon

by Venus G. Villanueva

Kalibo, Aklan (10 September) -- By year-end, Aklan might be the third province in the Visayas to have a working Provincial Environment Code already.

This is the dream of the Aklanons here, particularly those who are in the thick of meetings and workshops in the process of framing and drafting provisions for the province's environment code.

Once Aklan has an Environment Code, Derlito Rico, Environment Management Specialist (EMS) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here said that the province will have a guide for its environmental protection measures, a basis to collect environmental fees that could help generate revenue for the province and the municipalities, and conduct programs and activities for environmental enhancement.

Rico said Aklan's Environment Code had been mulled by provincial officials since 2004 yet, and current framers of the code are hoping that this will be completed and implemented this year.

Framers include Aklan's provincial officials, personnel from the DENR here and key representatives from the different government agencies working under different sub-committees.

Besides working on the Provincial Environment Code, the DENR is currently sustaining its program in greening the province by conducting massive tree planting activities in watershed areas.

Last week, Rico said the DENR, together with other government agencies, local government units and non-government organizations held a tree planting activity in the municipality of Tangalan in the western part of Aklan.

The DENR is undertaking tree planting activities, according to Rico, to help improve the climate situation in Aklan and minimize global warming, improve water supply, conserve biodiversity, create livelihood opportunities for barangay folk and develop forestry areas.

On September 19, DENR will also be spearheading mangrove propagules planting at the Bakhawan Eco Park in Kalibo, in observance of the Coastal Clean-Up Week, according to Rico. Several government agencies and concerned groups have already committed to join in the propagules planting.

Rico said that the DENR is also anticipating that Aklan will be selected as the planting area of jatropha or tuba as the plant is known in Aklan. Currently, he said Aklanons are already planting this plant for medicinal purposes, but if need arises, Aklan can also provide an area for the plant's plantation, which is considered one of the potential sources of biofuel.

"Aklan has timberland areas which are essential plantation sites of jatropha," Rico said. (PIA) [top]

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