By Dr. Arnil C. Emata, USTP Claveria Research Consultant
USTP System President Dr. Ambrosio B. Cultura II visits the Agroforestry Park in USTP Claveria.
September 15, 2021, Claveria, Misamis Oriental. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) System President Dr. Ambrosio B. Cultura II, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Assistant Secretary for Field Operations and Legislative Affairs Joan A. Lagunda, and European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ECCP) Northern Mindanao Branch Managing Director Mercedes P. Mejia for the establishment of a Bambusetum – a place where Bamboo species are collected and grown for education, research and tourism purposes and showcase its aesthetics, recreational and commercial value.
The Agroforestry of USTP Claveria was selected for the Bambusetum to recognize its collection of about 17 Bamboo species that have been planted and maintained over the years as reported by Dr. Richmond Palma, coordinator of the Agroforestry Program of USTP.
The Project in the Tripartite Agreement envisions “to develop an area for the Bambusetum for the community to learn and enjoy, promote the Bamboo as a potential product to its diverse market, and establish a pilot area for Bamboo plantation with the intent that other communities will adopt.” Aside from the seventeen (17) species, DENR will supply seedlings of thirteen (13) more species to increase the total species to thirty (30) and more species will be planted to increase the collection at the Bambusetum. ECCP will also assist in the procurement of more species, conduct training to enhance the market value of bamboo products, and source funds from partner organizations or agencies. USTP will provide the area for the Bambusetum, actively maintain the germplasm or genetic materials of thirty (30) species as well as manage the funds.
DENR Asec. Joan A. Lagunda plants a giant bamboo during the ceremonial planting.
The project will display not only the Bambusetum but will also establish a greenhouse nursery not using the regular steel frame but laminated bamboo, highlighting the strength and resilience of bamboo. The nursery will exhibit the seedlings of various bamboo species and the technical means to best propagate them. A bamboo tissue culture laboratory is planned to be included in the future. Further, a Bamboo pavilion together with other model bamboo houses utilizing laminated and bio-engineered bamboo will soon rise as part of the development of USTP Agroforestry.
After the MOA signing, the officials and staff had a ceremonial planting of the giant bamboo, Dendrocalamus giganteus, one of the bamboo species with global economic importance nowadays. It also commemorates World Bamboo Day on September 18, 2021, as both Asst. Sec. Lagunda and Ms. Mejia share a passion for “the timber of the 21st century.”
The site selection, drafting of the MOA, and other activities and plans were jointly proposed and coordinated by a core group composed of USTP’s Bamboo Research and Innovation Center (BRIC) members Dr. Greg M. Cubio (BRIC Head), Dr. Arnil C. Emata (USTP Research Consultant) and Engr. Nestor Paul P. Ubalde (BRIC Research Associate), ECCP’s Ms. Mejia and Ms. Joanne Turtoga (Branch Officer) and DENR’s Ferdinand E. Dagulo (Misamis Oriental Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer), Atty. Xandra Ysabelle T. Ebdalin-Bacus (Misamis Oriental PENRO Technical Services Division Chief), and Ms. Ericka Marie B. Jabagat (Office of Field Operations-Mindanao and Legislative Affairs).
This project will form part of the research conducted by BRIC.