Bamboo forest initiative aims to combat climate change in Capiz

By Felipe V. Celino

ROXAS CITY, Capiz – Caritas Philippines, in collaboration with the Diocesan Social Action Centers (DSACs) of Jaro (Iloilo), Capiz, and San Carlos (Negros Occidental), has launched the Caritas Bamboo Forest Project.

This initiative is a proactive response to the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation affecting the Visayas region.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed, followed by a press conference on Wednesday morning, February 28, at the Capiz Archbishop’s Palace in Brgy. Lawaan.

The event saw the participation of Norma N. Molinyawe from the Gerry Roxas Foundation, Inc., Monsignor Meliton Oso of the Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Center, Most Reverend Gerry Alminaza, bishop of San Carlos; Most Reverend Colin Bagaforo, executive president of Caritas Philippines; and Most Reverend Victor B. Bendico, archbishop of Capiz.

Subsequent to the signing, the group visited the project site in Brgy. Agnaga, Cuartero, Capiz.

The Caritas Bamboo Forest Project is a strategic measure to mitigate the effects of climate and environmental crises, especially on vulnerable groups like women, children, and others at risk.

The project addresses concerns such as increased vulnerability to climate-related impacts, food insecurity, and the lack of sustainable livelihoods.

These issues are often compounded by unsustainable agricultural practices, uncontrolled logging, mining, and quarrying.

The project’s primary aim is to foster biodiversity and mitigate climate change, in line with the Catholic Church’s global Laudato Si’ movement.

The initiative involves creating and nurturing bamboo forests in Iloilo, Capiz, and Negros Occidental.

An archdiocesan-owned plot in Brgy. Agnaga, Cuartero, has been chosen for the project in Capiz. Spanning five to seven hectares, the site will support the growth of a thriving bamboo ecosystem.

Reverend Father Mark Granflor, director of the Capiz Archdiocese Social Action Center (CASAC)/Caritas-Capiz, stated that this project demonstrates the Catholic Church’s dedication to sustainable development and ecological care.

With a vision to address environmental concerns and bolster community empowerment, the initiative will promote biodiversity, sustainable livelihoods, and active community involvement, aiming to create a lasting impact in the region.

Caritas Philippines, together with the partner DSACs, hopes this initiative will shine as a beacon of environmental responsibility and community resilience, inspiring other regions to undertake similar endeavors.