Linamon, Lanao del Norte – After its close partnership with the national government, this town is ready to take full responsibility of nurturing its rich biodiversity and natural resources.
In 2007 local government unit (LGU) of Linamon town headed by Mayor Noel Deaño inked partnership with the Department of Agriculture – Mindanao Rural Development Program (DA-MRDP) aimed to conserve and develop its natural resources to boost its local sources of food and livelihood as well as protect its biodiversity.
Under the program’s Natural Resources Management (NRM) component, the local conservation initiative builds a P7 million environment fund to pursue its desire of protecting natural wealth of the town.
“I believe our NRM endeavors will go a long way. It will answer our envisioned sufficiency and affordability of food for every household in our community using our own resources,” said Mayor Noel Deaño.
Recently, the project has been turned-over to the LGU to helm the full operation of various environment projects.
Linamon town, the gateway to Lanao del Norte, is blessed with green mountains and watershed, rivers on both east and west borders, about 6 kilometer stretch coastline whose municipal waters blanket part of the wide Iligan bay. However it has been threatened by various industrial developments and other illegal man-made activities.
The partnership of MRDP and Linamon town paved the way for the establishment of a 12-hectare agroforestry conservation which included the protection of the Tinago Falls; the riverbank stabilization of the Larapan river on the western side of the town; the coral reef restoration utilizing the coral transplantation technology; and the marine protected area.
Part of the turnover ceremony was the presentation of the sustainability action plan agreed upon by multi-sectoral stakeholders including the community fishermen and farmers, and representative from partner agencies BFAR, DENR, BSWM and NCIP as a sign of the LGU’s readiness to take on the project by themselves.
“We will sustain the projects we have started with MRDP and envisions to further develop similar projects using our own resources,” Deaño said.
“As part of our sustainability fund we even encourage concern barangays to allocate 20 percent of their CDF (community development fund) for its development and maintenance, as well as ensure our staff of continued technical assistance,” the mayor added.
Mayor Deaño said they would strictly implement the Fishery Law against all sorts of illegal fishing. He said they had eradicated dynamite fishing years ago and see to it that fishermen do their fishing activity in the designated areas using the authorized fishing methods.
Further, the fish sanctuary is also guarded 24/7 by “ bantay-dagat” volunteers of the Magoong- Samburon Fishermen’s Associations.
“We also ensure that the project gets the same commitment of support from the local stakeholders to make our endeavors sustainable,” Region 10 NRM Focal person Asuncion Maputol said.
Mayor Deaño in his message was glad to mention few immediate outcome of their NRM project.
He cited that the Larapan riverbank was saved from the havoc of the flash flood last December and January that devastated the neighboring town’s side, as it was protected by the project’s fast-growing forest and fruit trees, bamboo and vetiver grass that bristled in the area.
“The dramatic decrease of siltation in our river is also worth-mentioning after we have lobbied for the termination of quarrying activity at the onset of the project implementation,” Deaño said.
“The fruit and forest trees planted at Tinago sub-watershed are doing good too, that in the near future full-bearing fruit trees of various kinds like durian, marang, lanzones, and more would also draw tourists and visitors in the area aside from the attraction of the enchanting Tinago Waterfall. Thus it will provide enterprising opportunity to the local residents and beneficiaries of the project,” he added.
“The Larapan River is a breeding ground for several aquatic resources such as shrimp, crab, tilapia, banak, and even the rare pigek which is highly-priced owing to its excellent taste,” said Barangay Napo Captain Ambrocio de Asis, Jr.
“Now that erosion and flood can be controlled, fishing will be once again thriving in our community,” he added.
The marine protected area which were embedded with concrete substrates of transplanted corals serving as breeding ground of fishes, now a sanctuary of various species like grouper, spotted scat, snapper, mullet, bangus and scad among others.
“With the dedication of the LGU and its leaders, we at the Program are confident they can sustain the projects we have started,” said MRDP program director Lealyn A. Ramos.
Ramos added that Linamon town was ardent and fast to complete all the action plans based on the agreed work and financial plan under MRDP which was a major bases for the project turnover. (DA-MRDP)