News and UpdatesIn the News11K mangroves planted along Sibulan coast

11K mangroves planted along Sibulan coast

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to mark 50 years of ASEAN-Japan relations

MAKATI CITY — Eleven thousand mangrove propagules were planted on Oct. 7 along the coast of Sibulan in Negros Oriental in a massive mangrove-planting activity to celebrate 50 years of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation.

According to Dr. Melissa Reyes, chairperson of the SSEAYP International Philippines Inc. (SIP) which spearheaded the event, they planted a thousand trees for each of the 10 ASEAN member-states and Japan, to mark almost five decades of Japan’s annual exchange program called the Ship for South East Asian Youth Program that has benefited hundreds of thousands of youth from the ASEAN and Japan.

Reyes said mangrove planting is a positive manifestation of the organization’s advocacy to address environmental issues. “We wanted a project that is viable, sustainable, and definitely beneficial for the future,” said Reyes.

The activity was held in partnership with the Allied Mangrove-Planting Organizations (AMPO) headed by Sidney Lee, a Dumaguete-based SSEAYP delegate 32 years ago in 1991.

AMPO is a coalition of like-minded private groups committed to the environment that was organized in 2015 by Col. Alfred Guath of the Philippine Army, who was then president of the Negros Oriental Association of ROTC Corps Commanders. The coalition now continues to conduct mangrove-planting activities with volunteers, and no government funding.

The recent mangrove-planting in Sibulan was joined in by other civic groups in Negros Oriental: the 11th Infantry Batallion, 302nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, the Bacong Arrastre & Stevedoring Corp., Bantay Dagat of La Libertad in Negros Oriental, the Bureau of Jail Management & Penology-Negros Oriental, Dumaguete Coconut Mills Inc., Foundation University College of Business Administration, Friends of Earth, Metro Dumaguete Water, Negros Maritime College Foundation Inc., the Philippine Coast Guard-Negros Oriental Station and the Auxiliary 204th Squadron, the Philippine Red Cross-Negros Oriental Chapter, Red Cross Youth, Travis Travel & Tours, Youth for Peace-Negros Oriental, and the Rotary Club of Dumaguete South led by the Environment area of focus team head Jobert Kleine Koerkamp.

The SSEAYP, organized by the government of Japan through the International Youth Exchange Office, is a 40-day program that consists of lectures, discussions, and presentations on board the cruise ship Nippon Maru, and docking in ASEAN countries and in Japan to do courtesy calls on the respective governments. The youth delegates get the chance to “broaden their perspective of the world, strengthen their spirit of international cooperation, and learn practical skills for international collaboration”.

The program piloted in 1974 with Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Then Brunei joined in 1985; Vietnam in 1996; Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar in 1998; and Cambodia in 2000. (Kelly Mercado-Flynn/SSEAYP ’91)

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Photo Caption: Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Dumaguete South join the activity of the Allied Mangrove-Planting Organizations, sponsored by alumni of the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) on Oct. 7 in the coast of Ajong in Sibulan town. (Photo by Elmore Baylon)

 

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