EDITORIAL| Saving Davao’s recharge zone

WE do not seem to take our environment seriously. We are baffled by the continued open defiance of people who climb Mt. Apo knowing that it has yet to recuperate from the devastation of the fire last year.

Opening some trails for mountaineers in Davao del Sur may be viewed by some quarters as unwise, using protected watershed areas as trail is simply against the law. Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has issued a warning to the mountaineers who were seen using the trails even as she believes that this also has economic underpinnings for the Lumads living in the area.

In a statement the mayor issued yesterday, she said that: “Mt. Talomo is excluded from the list of Mt. Apo entry points but we received evidence that mountaineers and tour operators are entering Mt. Apo through Mt. Talomo.

These illegal activities must be stopped and the Davao City Government strongly reminds the public of the possible sanctions to be meted out to violators.

“Mt. Talomo is one of the mountains and watershed areas that the Local Government of Davao is keenly protecting because of its important ecological value. It is the recharge area of the Talomo-Lipadas watershed and the home to the endangered Philippine Eagle.

“However, for those who wish to visit the mountain, the public is informed that a comprehensive eco-tourism and cultural plan will soon be rolled out. This will cover regulations that will ensure that the watershed area is protected from human activities that are injurious and destructive to the environment.

“This plan is being undertaken by the City Government of Davao, the Department of Tourism XI, and the Philippine Eagle Foundation, in partnership with the Bagobo community in the area.

We encourage tour operators, tourists, and mountaineers to join us in the promotion of environmental protection and become active partners in ensuring that the next generations will still experience healthy, safe, and sustainable biodiversity and ecosystem.”

Posted in Opinion