SIBULAN, Negros Oriental, Nov. 7 (PIA) -- Amid the growing environmental threats, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region 7 (DENR7) has intensified its solid waste management advocacy campaign in a protected area of Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park (BTLNP), where there is a great potential for ecotourism.
DENR7 Regional Executive Director Paquito Melicor Jr. led the environmental campaign and benchmarking tour with information officers of DENR7, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau Region 7 (MGB7), and selected youth and representatives of people's organizations who serve as environmental champions at Lake Balinsasayao.
The group also visited the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) Eco Park in Dumaguete City, which converts trash into useful by-products.
Melicor said he wants to make the city’s central MRF to be part of the National Ecological Center.
The MRF generates an income of P500 per month for managing the garbage while providing livelihood for the waste pickers through proper and sustainable solid waste management.
Melicor also cited the Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Farmers’ Association Inc. (BTLFAI), the people’s organization that has been working within the protected area and taking care of BTLNP.
An 8,000-hectare park established in 2000 by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 414, the BTLNP is shared by three Negros Oriental towns, namely: San Jose, Sibulan, and Valencia.
It covers four mountain forests - Mount Mahungot, Mount Kalbasan, Mount Balinsasayao, and Guintabon Dome.
“It is important for us to see this nature park protected... there a lot of things in our work that started from biodiversity that we should see the connections and appreciate nature,” Melicor told the participants.
BTLFAI President Rico Mier shared their best practice on solid waste management as the natural park serves ecotourism products and provides services such as food and other recreational activities for visitors and tourists.
The participants committed to promote or advocate for the proper waste segregation and upcycling, and to begin the practice of sorting, collecting, and identifying trash through a commitment drawing workshop. (JCT/PIA7 Negros Oriental)