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DENR, LGU warn Agusan Marsh folk fire on peatland

BUTUAN CITY—With strong warning against putting up fire on sensitive peatlands in Agusan Marsh, the Representatives of DENR-13, the local officials of Talacogon, Agusan del Sur and fisher folk have discussed on April 19-21 about the fire that affected the peatlands at Talacgon Lake and Lake Kalingayan held at Talacogon Municipal Hall.

Agusan Marsh Peatland highly flammable

Peatlands in Agusan Marsh is highly flammable. DENR, LGUs, and environmental groups warns the people of Agusan Marsh not to burn the sensitive peatlands. (Photos by DENR-Caraga)

The dialogue followed the recent site visit conducted by the team of Sustainable Management of Peatland Forest in Southeast Asia or SEApeat Project in Agusan Marsh Pilot site which reported huge marks of peatland burning at Talacogon Lake peatlands.

“There were large tracts of burnt areas (about 15-20 hectares) within the Talacogon Lake peatlands. Similarly, it was observed that there was also fire and smoke from burning of vegetation apparently near Lake Kalingayan peatlands. This was due to burning of grasses and sedges to allow fishers to get fish from the lake”, report said.

PAWD Chief Jaime G. Ubanos of DENR-13 and Talacogon Mayor Jesryl Masendo have pushed for the dialogue with the fisher folks to find workable solution to prevent fire in the highly-flammable peatlands.

“The dialogoue between LGU and fisher folk was recommended by Mayor Masendo to find alternative remedies including the provision of livelihood that could discourage them from burning peatlands,” Ubano said.

Ubanos said 70 participants composed of LGU officials, Bureau of Fire Protection, barangay captains and fisher folks coming from six barangays of Talacogon were present at the meeting.

They came up with solutions including the activation of Bantay Danaw, livelihood programs for the fisherfolk, tourism development, and intensification of information, education campaign to address the issue. (Johny S. Natad)


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