OCENR secures century, heritage trees PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 13:49

In line with its mandate to protect and preserve the City’s natural resources, the Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) has intensified its program for the preservation of century-old and heritage trees in keeping with the provisions of City Ordinance 341, also known as the ordinance declaring the preservation of century and heritage trees.
Since the ordinance’s enactment in 2008, the OCENR has identified and placed a total of 130 trees, with 76 as century-old trees and 54 as heritage trees, under the protection of Ordinance 341. These include the 9 century-old and 3 heritage trees which were tagged last June during the 2014 Arbor Day na Ciudad de Zamboanga.
These trees, according to the OCENR, are now considered as ecologically, historically, and culturally valuable to the City of Zamboanga.
The identification and protection of century-old and heritage trees is a continuing effort of the City Government, in coordination with concerned barangays, institutions, and individuals. Through the OCENR, a special technical committee is tasked to evaluate potential century-old and heritage trees endorsed by a technical working group based on a set of qualifying criteria.
Meanwhile, through its environment and natural resources management program, the OCENR has also successfully reforested and maintained a total of 17.29 hectares of upland areas, including the Cesar Climaco Freedom Park. These reforestation efforts are further supplemented by the massive, community-driven, tree planting efforts held annually in celebration of the Arbor Day na Ciudad de Zamboanga.
For this year, the Arbor Day convened 7,000 individuals to plant an estimated 6,000 mahogany and narra seedlings in identified planting sites.
For coastal reforestation program, the OCENR oversees the management and maintenance of 32 hectares of old plantations established in 1994 and 2002, out of the total 64.5 hectares of co-managed areas in Mampang and Talon-Talon. — Jasmine Mohammadsali