Dubbed “#Protecting Forests, Sheltering Lives”, a manifesto in support to the fortification of Upper Agno River Watershed Reserve (UARWR) was signed by around 250 Barangay Local Government Units (BLGUs) including community members coming from 52 barangays covered by the Watershed Reserve.
Support for watershed protection and conservation is the manifesto’s call to BLGUs. As BLGU officials and Indigenous Peoples co-managing and inhabiting the area, they pledge to support the NPC- WMD’s programs, projects and activities such as community-based forestry projects, management and control of communal forests, execution of laws that may affect the forests and related concerns, and the conduct of information education campaign activities.
“We call upon you and encourage you, our constituents and stakeholders in the community, young and old alike to support and contribute in your own little ways in protection and conservation of our watershed. Together, let us help and harmonize our efforts in this noteworthy undertaking. If only to protect and conserve what is left, rehabilitate and strengthen what needs be”, reads the manifesto.
Mayor Ruben Tindaan of Buguias asked his constituents to support the advocacy and campaign on watershed protection and conservation, especially that Buguias is one of the headwaters of the Binga-Ambuklao dam.
“Let us leave a legacy for our children’s children to enjoy and share lest we be blamed for not doing our part in making our community a better place for them to live in”, quotes the manifesto.
The signed manifesto, on the other hand, reflected the barangay-based Bantay Watershed Task Forces’ shared commitment and responsibility in forest protection and environmental preservation. The said manifesto was signed during the BWTF General Assemblies and Seminar Series conducted separately for Tublay, Atok, and Buguias municipalities.