Continuing its plans to further gather insights from environmental biodiversity experts, the Nayong Pilipino Foundation has been in consultation with different organizations since the past year.  One of these is the Ecosystems Research Division Bureau (ERDB) under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

NPF Visits DENR (1)
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The ERDB is the research arm of DENR. They provide a wide array of research-based information through the use of different technologies focusing on the five major ecosystems of the Philippines namely forests, upland farms, grassland and degraded areas, coastal zone, and freshwater, and urban areas. They also have resources like seedlings of native plants.

Towards the end of 2020, NPF reached out to the ERDB for a consultation regarding the Urban Park that NPF plans to build. On December 1, 2020, a team of specialists from ERDB visited the NPF site in Parañaque to conduct an ocular on the area. Following this, they returned once again on December 22 to collect different soil samples in order to conduct a soil analysis.

Additionally, Dr. Lynlei Pintor, the Section Chief of the Urban Ecosystem Research Division (UERD) in ERDB conducted an online lecture hosted by NPF titled “Beyond Leisure and Recreation: The Importance of Urban Park Guidelines,” last January 25, 2021. Here, she presented the guidelines needed to properly establish a green space within the city while also enumerating the different features and elements that can be incorporated into an Urban Park.

To further foster the partnership between the two organizations, the ERDB invited officers from NPF to visit their office at Los Baños, Laguna last February 2, 2021. Present in the meeting were NPF Executive Director Atty. Lucille Karen Malilong-Isberto, Dr. Laya Boquiren, Landscape Architect Hannah Cruz, ERDB Director Atty. Henry Adornado, and Dr. Lynlei Pintor.

Both organizations are on the same page with their plans and advocacies, with NPF wanting its Urban Forest Park to be a center for promoting and mainstreaming biodiversity—an avenue where ERDB can showcase its research—and with ERDB willing to provide technical assistance and ecosystem services to NPF, making it a pilot site for its research studies.

Among possibilities explored during the meeting was a baseline study to allow an impact assessment to be conducted after every few years. This will allow the public to see and monitor the development of the site before and after the construction of the Urban Forest Park. This is aligned with NPF’s desire to incorporate a progressive and adaptive approach in building its future park. Both organizations are also in agreement that the process of establishing the park must be well documented, emphasizing that it is important to show to the general public what is the economic side as well as the environmental impact of the NPF Urban Forest Park.

Other suggestions of ERDB include incorporating binoculars for birdwatching as the site is a good area where migratory birds often flock. The ERDB also mentioned that NPF can coordinate with DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau for their “Adopt-an-Estero/Water Body” Program for a possible clean-up and maintenance of the creak located beside the property.

The results of the soil analysis of the DENR-ERDB shall provide a basis for NPF to choose the right species of native trees and plants that can thrive in the property so that it can be a home for native birds. An interdisciplinary team is now at the helm of the project and is in the process of drafting checklists and guidelines for Project Sambayanihan or the creation of an Urban Forest Park in the NPF Property.

The NPF will continue to partner and collaborate with different organizations from various fields to reach its goal of having an inclusive think-do-tank and creative hub nestled in an urban forest.

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