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AUG 1, 2016

NR # 4279

National Coastal Greenbelt Program pushed

AKO BICOL Partylist lawmakers have re-filed a bill establishing a coastal greenbelt program
to form part of the long-term solution to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Reps. Rodel Batocabe, Alfredo Garbin Jr. and Christopher Go said House Bill 527 or the
National Coastal Greenbelt Act seeks to establish greenbelts of mangroves and beach forests along
coastlines as preparation for the damaging effects of natural disasters.
Much of the losses from typhoons are brought by storm surges and strong winds coming
from the open ocean. The establishment of mangroves and beach forests can reduce the force, depth
and velocity of a tsunami which would be minimal damage to property and loss of lives, Batocabe
Under HB 527, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) shall organize all national agencies to
create an integrated National Coastal Greenbelt Action Plan (NCGAP).
The summoned agencies shall be responsible for foreshore management, mangrove and beach
forest protection and utilization, coastal land and sea-use planning, coastal tourism development,
social welfare of coastal communities and other relevant mandates.
According to Gabin, the establishment of the National Coastal Greenbelt Program shall
provide the agency mandates, funding and general guiding principles for implementing a sciencebased and cost-effective program.
The NCGAP shall include quick inventory of the status of coastlines and foreshores including
the status of mangroves, beach forests, settlements, structures and fishponds within 100 meters.
It shall also contain assessment of priority areas to be declared as coastal greenbelts for each
coastal province, city and municipality.
The program shall also designate priority areas for coastal greenbelts that are already included
as a protected area under the National Integrated Protected Areas System or RA 7586.
Further, it shall also consist of operational plan for the rehabilitation, reforestation or
afforestation of designated priority coastal greenbelts and operational plan for the reversion of all
abandoned fishponds to mangroves through natural regeneration and operational plan for the removal
of illegal structures in the priority coastal greenbelts.
Aside from the NCGAP, a Local Coastal Greenbelt Action Plan (LCGAP) shall also be
prepared in each city and municipality in the identified priority greenbelt areas to facilitate the
implementation of mandated actions in the NCGAP.
The establishment of science-based coastal greenbelts is expected to protect biodiversity,
improve fisheries productivity and enhance the tourism and livelihood potential of the area. It can
also transform vulnerable coastal villages into highly resilient and sustainable communities, Go
said. (30) nap