- Posted January 12, 2013 by
King-king Copper-Gold Project Signs Mangrove Forest Project Partnership Agreement
After a year of discussions, the Barangay Council of Fuentes in Pantukan municipality has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with St. Augustine Gold & Copper Ltd (SAGCL) to develop a mangrove forest in Sitio Bucana of Barangay Fuentes.
SAGCL is the Toronto–listed mining firm developing the King-king Copper-Gold Project (KCGP) in Pantukan, Compostela Valley province.
Company and government representatives officially launched the project in Sitio Bucana last month. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) helped craft the MOA through its Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Maco, Provincial Agriculturist Office (PAGRO), and Municipal Agriculturist Office (MAO).
The project will help protect the coastal area of Sitio Bucana from further erosion as the coast line recedes. Several homes in the area have been destroyed by strong waves, especially during the Habagat (west monsoon). The coastline has receded approximately 100 meters in the past five years.
Mangroves serve as coastal breakwaters when the trees a fully grown. Previous mangrove planting projects near Sitio Bucana have not been successful because seedlings typically cannot survive the harsh conditions.
Barangay officials, local residents and the KCGP Technical Environmental Team agreed that while mangrove trees are the most feasible solution to combat erosion, the challenge remained: how to ensure the seedlings take root during strong and high tides.
KCGP environmental team members tried a new approach. Recent studies showed that certain species of mangrove have a better survival rate if the seedlings can be protected from the strong tides. For the project to be successful, the KCGP team knew that they had to collaborate with government agencies, local government and the community.
Following a series of meetings the barangay officials of Fuentes and KCGP agreed to craft a partnership agreement in which all parties had some responsibility for the project’s success. The parties include government agencies, local government units, KCGP and local residents.
The mangrove project covers five hectares of coastline in Brgy Fuentes. The KCGP Environmental Team has built protective fences to shield the seedlings from weather and tides. The project will start with a thousand seedlings, which are housed in a mangrove nursery in Sitio Bucana. If 35 percent of the seedlings survive, the project will be considered a success.
Fuentes Brgy Capt. Elizabeth Mabiscay says she appreciates KCGP’s hardwork and dedication to this project.
“Daghang salamat sa KCGP tungod kay nakita nako ilang tinuuray nga pagtabang aron masolusyonan ang atong problema diri sa Bucana” (I’d like to thank SASI for showing their sincerest intention in helping us out with our problem here in sitio Bucana)”, Mabiscay said.
As part of the partnership agreement, CENRO will provide technical support for the mangrove project and PAGRO will provide additional seedlings. MAO and the barangay government unit will provide law enforcement and create legislation to protect the project. Local residents will take care of the trees.
KCGP will follow up and report on the progress of the mangrove project.
Mr. Petronilo Cancino, KCGP Group Manager, told the people of Fuentes that the company is committed to the partnership. “Kami (KCGP) po’y nagagalak at kami po ay inyong pinagkakatiwalaan sa ganitong proyekto. Ang amin pong pagtulong ay upang makamtan po natin ang nararapat na solusyon sa problema ng mga tao dito sa lugar ninyo. Kayo po’y makakaasa sa aming patuloy na pagtupad sa aming pinangakong katungkulan para sa proyektong ito hanggang masasabi natin at makikita natin na nagawa natin ng sapat ang dapat para maresolba ang problema. (We are grateful that you have trusted us with this project. We help you out because we want to resolve the problem. We promise to continue doing our part on this project until we see and can say that we’ve done enough to overcome it), he said.