Disasters blamed for dwindling Phl mangrove forests
Rudy Fernandez (The Philippine Star) - December 2, 2013 - 12:00am

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna , Philippines   â€“ Man-made and natural disasters continue to destroy the dwindling mangrove forests in the country.

Mangrove forests were damaged when Super Typhoon Yolanda devastated several provinces in Eastern Visayas on Nov. 8.

Mangroves also served as among the battlegrounds between government troops and members of the Moro National Liberation Front during the siege in Zamboanga City last September.

Records from the Philippine Forestry Statistics show that the country has only 247,362 hectares of mangroves left out of around half a million hectares about a century ago.

The Mimaropa region (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) has the biggest mangrove area at 57,600 hectares.

Eastern Visayas, particularly Leyte and Bohol, which were hardest hit by Yolanda, has around 40,000 hectares of mangrove forests.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) had reported that mangroves in the country have been depleted to around 35 percent of the total forests.

The Los Baños-based DENR Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau said that mangroves serve as breeding, feeding and nursery grounds for fish and crustaceans.

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES EASTERN VISAYAS ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT BUREAU LEYTE AND BOHOL LOS BA MARINDUQUE MORO NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT PHILIPPINE FORESTRY STATISTICS SUPER TYPHOON YOLANDA ZAMBOANGA CITY
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