Wednesday, December 30, 2009

FIRST KAPANAKDUG SA PALAO - Mt. Inayawan Range Natural Park

December 14, 2009

Iligan City - Forests and its watershed area serves as a life support system of communities all over the world. However, the wanton destruction and clearing of our significant forests proves fatal as manifested in the occurrence of natural hazard events such as flashflood, siltation and landslide which caused biodiversity lose and diminishing of the lifeline of local communities like potable water source and livelihood.
In Lanao del Norte, Mt. Inayawan Range Natural Park (MIRNP) serves as the last forest bastion and critical watershed area of its municipalities and people. MIRNP covers an area of 3,986 hectares of which 3,120 hectares is protected and 866 hectares are bufferzone. The mountain range is located in the Municipality of Nunungan,  Lanao del Norte. It is the only largest remaining rainforest of the province with dipterocarp forest  containing high diversity of flora and fauna.
Among its signficance includes source of water suppy for irrigation and potable water to Kapatagan Valley, the rice granary of the province; open laboratory for both flora and fauna species; potential for ecotourism and recreational services; center of history of the Municipality of Nunungan; source of local food and medicine of the local populace who are hardly reached by government services due to inaccessibility of the place and conflict.
MIRNP is home to diverse fauna, including among others, endangered species like Philippine eagle & Philippine deer and rare species like the Mindanao flying squirrel; scope owl; White collard kingfisher; Rostanhornbill; Mindanao Warty pig.
To protect Lanao del Norte’s remaining largest rainsforest, the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of MIRNP spearheaded by the Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, (EcoWEB), Inc in cooperation with the Municipality of Nunungan, Lanao del Norte will be holding the 1st KAPANAKDUG SA PALAO invitation trek in Mt. Inayawan Range Natural Park on December 16-18, 2009.

“KAPANAKDUG” is a Maranao word which means “to trek or stride” while “PALAO” is a Maranao word for “mountain”. Thus “Kapunugdug sa Palao” literally means “to trek in the mountains” in Maranao.

The organizers also finds it appropriate to name the event in Maranao since the communities residing inside the park are Maranao’s and has been in the area for a very long time. Most of the Maranao residents lives adjacent to the lake which is their source of livelihood.
The 3 day trek aims to 1) highlight the biodiversity and socio-cultural signifance of Mt. Inayawan as a natural park and protected area 2) introduce Mt. Inayawan Range Natural Park as a potential destination for environmental awareness, outdoor sport and ecotoursim zone in Lanao del Norte 3) emphasize Islamic environmental stewardship and governance in the 3-day trek and 4) surface biodiversity and socio-cultural issues during the trek and recommend solutions.
About 60 participants  will join the trek which is composed of EcoWEB, Municipality of Nunungan, DENR-PaSU-MIRNP, MSU Marawi Forestry Department and MSU-IIT.
Governor Khalid Dimaporo will meet with the participants in the morning of December 16 at the Provincial Capitol. Governor Dimaporo supports the call of the event to protect MIRNP and promote it as an ecotourism destination in Lanao del Norte.
After the courtesy call with the governor, Professor Alongan A. Mangorsi of MSU-IIT will give a lecture on Al Kalipha or the Islamic Concept of Environmental Governance. After the lecture, the participants will proceed Nunungan for a courtesy call with Mayor Abdulmalik Manamparan.
A Declaration of Commitment will be crafted during the trek which will highlight conservation issues and concerns like illegal logging, siltation and climate change. It will also highlight recommendations like implementing disaster risk reduction or DRR to respond to the global climate changes. EcoWEB, Inc is the lead PAMB member that is currently working on disaster risk reduction.
Kapanakdug sa Palao is also supported by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development or CAFOD, DENR and the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte.
With reports from

Mark A. Cervantes
Project Officer
Disaster Risk Reduction

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