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Coastal greenbelt program pushed

The chairman of the House Special Committee on Climate Change has called for the implementation of a national coastal greenbelt program that is expected to effectively combat the impact of deadly storm surges and mitigate coastal erosion.

Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel M. Batocabe filed House Bill 5948, to be known as the National Coastal Greenbelt Act of 2015, to establish nationwide greenbelts of mangroves and beach forests along coastlines.

Batocabe stressed that the Philippines ranks high in the list of nations exposed to multiple hazards brought about by the effects of climate change.

Under the bill, coastal greenbelt refers to a strip of natural or planted coastal vegetation, stretching at least 100 meters in width from the sea towards land, primarily of mangrove and beach forest species, which are designed to prevent coastal erosion and mitigate the adverse impacts of natural coastal hazards on human lives and property.

Batocabe stressed that the NCGP will provide the Climate Change Commission the directives, funding, and general guiding principles for implementing a science-based and cost effective program.

“The proposed National Coastal Greenbelt Program mandates the establishment of 100-meter protection zones, initially for the Eastern Pacific seaboard, where typhoons make landfall,” he said. (Ben R. Rosario)