A scenic and enchanting boardwalk traversing through one of the remaining mangrove forests that Bohol has been blessed with sounds a good idea that could draw in tourists.
If not for the “adverse impact it poses” to the ecology and adjacent marine sanctuaries, including the so-called Bohol Marine Triangle, such a project would have met no resistance from local residents and conservationists.
The planned Albur Mangrove Forest Boardwalk, covering some 10,000 square meters of centuries-old mangrove forest in Barangay Santa Fe, Alburquerque, Bohol, has been given the green light by the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), according to Alburquerque town mayor Don Ritchie Buates.
Buates explained to dyRD Balita that the project poses no damaging impact on the environment which would instead put the Municipality of Alburquerque in the map of tourist destinations in the province.
Buates likewise defends the project as it is expected to provide the municipality with additional revenues from tourism activities and would potentially create additional jobs for its residents.
The project is being funded by a private group which operates Belian Hotel, the mayor said.
The mayor added that the project proponent has been given the green light after a team from the PAMB-DENR conducted inspection at the site and the protected area management zone has been delineated.
According to Buates, after some local residents and conservation groups aired concern regarding the project’s ecological impact, the project proponent decided to temporarily suspend reclamation works in the project site.
The mayor said the proponent is still complying with requirements to secure an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) from the DENR.
Construction works will resume after the proponent has secured an ECC, the mayor said.
The project site is situated in Barangay Santa Fe, Alburquerque, a popular destination of local beach goers and is also a traditional fishing ground for the locals.
The area is also within close proximity of Alburquerque’s marine sanctuary and the Bohol Marine Triangle.
The mangrove forest in the area has been the traditional spawning ground and acts as a “nursery” of various fish species. (KB, AD)