Rehabilitation of Arayat Watershed
for the Protection of Candaba Wetlands
The Candaba Wetlands and Mount Arayat are considered ecologically important areas. Both ecosystems are habitats of endemic and endangered flora and fauna. Mt. Arayat tributaries drain into the Pampanga River which bisects the whole Candaba swamp area. Sediments from soil erosion on the mountain find its way into the Candaba swamp contributing to its eutrophication. The average depth of the swamp is only 1-2 meters deep, thus making it very vulnerable to sedimentation. The degradation of the Arayat uplands would also mean the deterioration of the habitat of waterfowls and migratory birds of the swamplands. Addressing the conservation issues of the uplands would also help address the degradation of the swamplands. As such the two different ecosystems cannot be separated from each other.
Rehabilitation and conservation of resources of the Arayat-Candaba watershed is of great importance, not only to the flora and fauna, but also to the local people. Conserving the upland and swampland resources could eventually conserve its biodiversity.
The participating farmers in this project called Treepreneurs were members of the Maria Sinukuan Upland Farmers Association in Arayat, Pampanga and their families. The project brought in participation of women and children in tree planting activities, specifically in the establishment of plant nurseries in their backyards. Planting of seedlings and maintenance of the assigned plantation lots at Mount Arayat were done by the Treepreneurs. They received basic goods, school supplies and other household needs in exchange for their efforts. Two groups of Treepreneurs were involved in the project – Treepreneurs for the backyard nurseries (3 batches of 100 families per batch) and Treepreneurs for the enrichment plantation site (2 batches of 80 farmers per batch) known as Punong Buhay Brigade.
The Treeprenuers with their backyard nurseries
Implementors and Partners –