Lanao del Sur forms council to manage river basin
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The provincial government of Lanao del Sur has created Lanao Basin Management Council this week to ensure proper planning and implementation of the Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management Project (INREMP) for Lake Lanao River Basin.
During a meeting here with local government units on Tuesday, January 10, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the provincial government created programs and roadmap for the Lake Lanao River Basin.
Lake Lanao is located in Lanao del Sur. It covers 340 square kilometers and is the largest lake in Mindanao, the 2nd in the Philippines, and is one of the 15 ancient lakes in the world.
It used to be Mindanao's sole source of power; now it provides roughly 30% of Mindanao's mixed sources of energy.
Lake Lanao was proclaimed as a watershed reservation in 1992 through Presidential Proclamation 971 to ensure protection of forest cover and water yield for hydropower, irrigation, and domestic use.
Salma Jayne Tamano, Lanao del Sur provincial information officer, said that the Lake Lanao Basin Management Council was created with 5 sub-watershed management councils, which will serve as governance and oversight bodies.
"[INREMP] is intended to address unsustainable watershed management in 4 priority river basins, including Lake Lanao," Tamano said.
Lanao del Sur Governor Soraya Adiong said that Lake Lanao presents many benefits for the people – "be they economic, recreational, aesthetic, cultural, educational, scientific, and ecological benefits."
The INREMP intends to protect, manage, and develop the watershed of Lanao del Sur, which has a coverage area of 138,834 hectares, apart from 3 other major upper basins in the country.
Under a 2014 project blueprint, it also covers the Upper Bukidnon River Basin with 446,620 hectares; the Upper Chico River Basin with 405,894 hectares; and the Upper Wahig-Inabanga with 62,853 hectares.
Adiong said that failure to protect the lake will have a negative impact not only on the lives of the Maranaos but all Mindanaoans.
"We must protect Lake Lanao for future generations by doing our works now, creating a roadmap for sustainable use. We owe it to the people of Lanao as we also enjoin residents around the lake to partake and take ownership of the program that will benefit us and the generations to come," Adiong said.
Under the INREMP, funding amounting to $100 million from Asian Development Bank and SDR 13.25 million from the International Fund for Agriculture Development will be use to bankroll the undertaking. – Rappler.com