Landslide-prone areas to be identified for tree planting
The city government will soon identify landslide-prone areas in the city to be prioritized for tree planting.
The city council has approved an ordinance that sought to identify landslide-prone areas in the city that are feasible for tree planting in a bid to reduce landslide risk in these areas. The measure also seeks to contribute to the increase of the forest cover of the city.
Aided by the geo-hazard maps of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the City Engineering Office shall identify areas susceptible to landslide and feasible for tree-planting.
The City Environment Parks and Management Office shall consider the identified areas for tree-planting activities and shall ensure “tree species availability.”
The Cepmo shall also ensure survival of the tree species planted in the areas and may recommend plans to ensure the area is ready and suitable for tree planting.
The City Planning and Development Office shall work towards the retention of these identified landslide-prone areas as public lands owned by the city.
The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office shall coordinate with the aforementioned offices for the formulation of landslide mitigation measures or programs.
Councilor Arthur Allad-iw, proponent of the ordinance, said several landslides/mass movements in the city have resulted in the destruction of lives, properties, and infrastructure projects.
He said the occurence of landslide could be prevented and its devastating effect could be mitigated by planting appropriate trees of different species in these landslide-prone areas.
“Tree-planting programs not only prevent landslides but also increase the city’s forest cover that has been declining for years and contribute to the prevention of climate change,” Allad-iw said.
He cited a study conducted by the MGB under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera, which revealed that Baguio City is characterized as a geo-hazard prone area where earthquakes or rainfall-induced landslides/erosions are common occurrences.
Allad-iw said the study showed that the city is within the faultlines, hence, earthquakes usually occur inducing many landslides particularly in unstable slopes.
Furthermore, the country is also visited by more than 20 typhoons yearly affecting most areas including the city with long and heavy rains weakening the grounds and causing landslides, Allad-iw said. – Jordan G. Habbiling