Region XI’s MGB and EMB identify sites for Mercury Recovery Facilities in Naboc River

The Mining and Environment Committee of the Naboc River Rehabilitation Technical Working Group (TWG) has conducted site identification for the installation of the 2,000 square meter-mercury recovery facilities within Brgy. Naboc and Brgy. Babag, Monkayo, Compostela Valley.

The said facilities will be used to recover mercury from the dredged materials prior to disposal of Sand and Gravel. The dredging of the Naboc River will commence in October this year.

Following the consultation from the Barangay Units, the said committee was able to identify seven (7) sites considering the significant factors such as the areas’ distance from the dredging site and its accessibility and distance from the community. There will be 1 recovery facility (RF) for each RIver Quarry Block (RQB).

The Mining and Environment Committee is being chaired by the Mining and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI). Along with other committees, they are tasked to formulate the Naboc River Rehabilitation Master Plan.

The rehabilitation of Naboc River is one of the priority programs of Secretary Cimatu after President Rodrigo Duterte stated in his SONA last July 2017 the ill condition of the river caused by Mercury, Cyanide and fecal coliform contamination. A Memorandum of Agreement for the dredging, quarrying, and rehabilitation of Naboc River was signed last July 16, 2019, attended by DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, DILG Undersecretary for Operations Epimaco V. Densing III, Compostela Valley Provincial Governor Jayvee Tyron L. Uy, and DPWH-XI Regional Director Allan S. Borromeo.

A month after the MOA signing, a Joint Special Order creating the said TWG was also signed by Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Eastern Mindanao and DENR-XI Regional Executive Director Ruth M. Tawantawan and Comval Governor Jayvee Tyron L. Uy.

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Meet “Barry”, The Rare Fish in Mabini

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) never ceases to purport strategic ways to campaign in the conservation of the country’s environment and natural resources particularly on its protected areas. Communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) has been wrapped in varied instruments to connect to people and effectively deliver the message on the importance of conserving nature and its biodiversity.

Mascot is one of those tools. Thus, the creation of “Barry”.

“Barry” the barramundi cod/ humpback grouper (Cromileptes altivelis) mascot was designed to educate the people particularly in the spanning community of Mabini, Compostella Valley Province about the abundance of this rare species within the Mabini Protected Landscape and Seascape (MPLS).

The humpback grouper is a pale-greenish brown, black-spotted fish tagged as naturally rare and high priced both in the international and local market- ranging from P 2,000- P3,000 per kilo.

This species, which is now the flagship species of MPLS, shelters in inner-shelf reefs found underneath the Mabini waters. Although, its global distribution and population has been recorded as decreasing according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), their abundance has recently been recorded in the said protected area, which also reflects its “good condition” coral cover.

Through Barry, the DENR aims to open the eyes of the public on the presence of this rare and vulnerable species and the importance of conserving their home – the Mabini waters. Barry will be made visible during conducts of information drive to encourage the community to value the coastal and marine ecosystem and warn them about the consequences that entails illegal activities such as overfishing.

The caricature was launched in June 2019 at the DENR Marine Center, Sitio Mampising, Brgy. Tagnanan, Mabini, ComVal.

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