December 9, 2022

The city government has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Watershed and Water Resources, Research Development Extension Center (WWRRDEC) Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau for the conduct of a Geographic Information System-based study on bark beetles in Benguet pines.
The study aims to protect the pine trees and watersheds with mechanisms to predict the population and incidence of bark beetles and forecast their activities and mitigate the impact on pine trees due to outbreaks.
It will include environmental factors that could help predict outbreaks, which would be relevant for forest management implementers, private companies, watershed communities, researchers, policy makers, and forest managers.
The WWRRDEC reported that in 2015 to 2019, bark beetle infestation caused the death of over 2,000 Benguet pine trees in the city.
The threat of bark beetles in pine trees in watershed areas was observed not only in the city but also in the Cordillera and regions 1 and 2.
A study on the prevalence of seven species of bark beetles at the Camp John Hay was also conducted by Benguet State University researchers in 2019.
Among the threats affecting Benguet pine in the city include anthropogenic or man-made and climate change or prolonged rains or drought. – Julie G. Fianza