Davide to develop reforestation project as eco-tour site

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita June 01,2016 - 10:02 PM

LUSH forest covers over hiking trails are among the features of the Osmeña Reforestation Project (ORP) in Minglanilla town, which is being considered for development as an ecotourism site by the provincial government.

During yesterday’s kick-off celebration of Environment Month in the area, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide confirmed his administration’s plans to develop the site and include it in the Suroy-Suroy tours.

“I’m very happy that we have this area. The province has a tourism program, we will include this to the sites to be visited by our local and foreign tourists. Are there camping sites here? It’s also very ideal for camping,” the governor said.

Though he has passed by the area in Barangay Camp 7 several times, Davide admitted yesterday that it was the first time he heard of the official name of the reforestation project, which has a forest cover of 2,710 hectares.

Davide recalled that during the campaign period, he would always pass by the area, which he said could be compared to the famous man-made forest in Bohol.

“I’m so happy that this is still here after 100 years and I’m sure this will continue. We all have a stake in this reforestation project. The Province of Cebu is very much willing to partner with DENR in protecting, preserving, and maintaining the Osmeña Reforestation Project,” Davide said.

The ORP is managed by the DENR’s Biodiversity, Coastal, Wetlands and Ecotourism Research Center (BCWERC).

The BCWERC also has a Clonal Nursery with hedge gardens, a bambusetum, a Bamboo Gallery and a Tree Seed Center.

Dr. Alicia Lustica, BWERC chief, said they have been working on developing trails within the ORP for people to appreciate and “commune with nature.”

“For the first time, we’ve identified three trail areas. The first is more for kids, the second is a discovery and heritage trail and a longer one. Along the way, we’ve assigned personnel. Prior to the trail identification, we had an ecotrail workshop,” she said in yesterday’s Kapihan Forum held in the area yesterday.

DENR Regional Executive Director Isabelo Montejo said the ORP is part of their ecotourism plan for the region.

“The only way for people to appreciate forests is to commune with nature,” he said.

He said they would determine the rate to be charged for the tour which would then fund improvements on the trails.

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