|Featured Flora: Mangrove|
The Philippines, being an archipelagic country, is endowed with one of the important resources in the ecosystem, notably the Mangrove Forest, which is an association of different mangroves trees.
The dominant mangrove trees in the mangrove forest are the Rhizophora species or locally known as “Bacauan”. Mangrove thrives along the coastal areas of tropical and subtropical estuaries and sheltered bays. These habitats offer the barest and limited conditions for the growth and survival of higher plant life.
Today, mangroves of the Philippines are getting scarce. The estimated 400,000 to 500,000 hectares of mangrove forest (Brown and Fischer 1920) left around 139,100 hectares in 1988. Mangrove resources have been continuously depleted in the middle 70’s up to recent years at the annual rate of 5,553 hectares.
The development of mangrove swamps into aquaculture ponds, salt beds, reclamation areas and other agricultural activities has extensively denuded the resource. Logging operations were indiscriminately done over the last few decades. Mangroves trees were cut and concessionaires did not leave on mother trees to replenish the area. Several cases of illegal logging/ cutting occur even in proclaimed mangroves reserves.