Thematic Planting by Ecosystem

Watershed:

Watershed is an area of land on a slope which drains its water into a creek, stream, marsh, river, lake or groundwater. It is also defined as an area of land that drains water, sediment, and dissolved materials to a common outlet point. For this reason, the watershed is also known as a catchment area or drainage basin.

It is a complex web of natural resources - soil, water, air, plants and animals, and is also made up of our homes, farms, subdivisions, small towns, big cities and people.

Some watersheds cross barangays, municipalities, provinces and regions. Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes. Some are millions of square kilometers, while others are just a few hectares. Just as creeks drain into rivers, local watersheds are nearly always part of a larger watershed.

The Importance of Watershed:

The watershed provides an array of benefits. Some of these are as follows:

  • Watershed collects water from the rainfall, storing some of this precipitation in wetlands, soils, trees and other vegetation, and in groundwater aquifers which may be hydrologically connected to rivers.
  • It provides water that is used for drinking, recreation, navigation, irrigation, hydroelectric power and manufacturing;
  • It serves as a habitat for the, birds, fish and other wildlife living in the area;
  • It helps to control soil erosion; and
  • It stores flood waters.

Thus planting in watersheds contribute to:

  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Soil erosion control and water yield improvement
  • Flood Control

Mangroves:

Mangroves are woody plants or plant community which lives between the sea and the land which are inundated by tides. Thus, mangroves are both considered as species as well as a community of plants.

The Importance of Mangroves:

Mangroves have many benefits to both humans and to the ecosystem and these are the following:

  • Protects Coastlines and Development – Mangroves protects coastlines and development from erosion and damage brought by tidal surges, currents, rising sea level, and storm energy in the form of waves storm surges and wind. This is possible because they bind their roots and stabilize the substrate. For the coastlines where relative sea level is rising, protecting mangroves is one way to slow down the anticipated erosion. Protecting mangroves sustains natural protection and is less expensive than seawalls and similar erosion control structures which can increase erosion in front of the structure and at adjacent properties;
  • Wildlife Habitat – Mangroves serves as nursery habitat for many wildlife species, including commercial fish and crustaceans thus, contribute to sustaining local abundance of fish and shellfish population;
  • Improve Coastal Water Quality – Mangroves maintains coastal water quality by abiotic and biotic retention, removal, and cycling of nutrients, pollutants, and particulate matter from land-based sources, filtering these materials from water before they reach seaward coral reef and seagrass habitats;
  • Store Carbon – Mangroves are a carbon sink. Its destruction can release large quantities of stored carbon and exacerbate global warming trends. On the other hand, mangrove rehabilitation and protection will increase the sequestering of carbon; and
  • Provides Recreational, Tourism, Educational, and Research Opportunities – Mangroves provide recreational and tourism opportunities, such as boardwalks and boat tours, and are important for research and education.

Thus planting mangroves in the coastal area contribute to :

  • Protection of habitat and breeding ground of marine and other wildlife species
  • Building a barrier against strong winds, waves and tsunamis

Agroforestry

It is a common knowledge that trees play a crucial role in almost all terrestrial ecosystems and provide a range of products and services to rural and urban people. As natural vegetation is cleared for agriculture and for other types of development, the benefits that trees provide are best sustained by integrating trees into agriculturally productive landscapes ----- a practice known as agroforestry.

Agroforestry is defined as a dynamic, ecologically based, natural resources management system that, through the integration of trees on farms and in the agricultural landscape, diversifies and sustains production. Farmers have practiced it for years. It focuses on the wide range of working trees grown on farms and in rural landscapes. Among these are fertilizer trees for land regeneration, soil health and food security; fruit trees for nutrition; fodder trees that improve smallholder livestock production; timber and fuelwood trees for shelter and energy; medicinal trees to combat diseases; and trees that produce gums, resins, or latex products. Many of the trees are multipurpose and provide a wide range of benefits.

The Importance of Agroforestry:

Agroforestry is very important for us because of the following:

  • It reduces poverty through increased production of agroforestry products for home consumption and sale;
  • It contributes to food security by restoring farm soil fertility for food crops and production of fruits, nuts, and edible oils;
  • It reduces deforestation and pressure on woodlands by providing fuelwood grown on farms;
  • It increases diversity of on-farm tree crops and tree cover to buffer farmers against the effects of global climate change;
  • It improves nutrition to lessen the impacts of hunger and chronic illnesses; and
  • It augments the accessibility to medicinal trees.

Thus planting in Agroforestry contribute to:

  • Food production in support to hunger mitigation
  • Production of new materials
  • Production of high value crops for food production and production of alternative fuel

Urban Parks:

It is also known as a municipal park and this is built in cities and other incorporated areas. Its functions are to offer recreation and green space to residents of and visitors to the municipality. Urban parks’ design, operation, and maintenance is usually done by the city government but it may also be contracted out to a private sector company.

The common features of urban parks usually include playgrounds, running, mixed trails/paths, sports field and courts, public restrooms, and picnic areas. Also, the features of urban parks may vary depending on the budget and natural features available.

The Importance of Urban Parks:

Urban parks provide an array of benefits to local communities and some of them are the following:

  • Urban parks reduce air and water pollution to an increased sense of community;
  • The green spaces that the urban parks provide helps to attract new residents, businesses and jobs, increases real estate values, and contribute to a better quality of life for the city dwellers;
  • It is designed as places for users to experience recreation, inspiration, and escape from the daily demands and pressures of fast-paced urban life; and
  • Urban parks also provide play areas that are considered critical to the children’s physical, social, and mental development. For the adults, urban parks provide the chance to interact with neighbors and to participate in communal activities, such as community gardening that offers a sense of community and environmental stewardship.

Sources:

  • Cortes, Leticia P. and Zenaida P. Lopez-Dee. Philippine Environment Series: Water Resources: Watersheds. Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development, Vidal A. Tan Hall, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. February, 1986.
  • Electronic Sources:

  • http://www.unep.org/PDF/mangrove.report.pdf
  • http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/nature_conservation_habitats/wetlands/wetlands_habitats/mangroves
  • http://www.worldagroforestry.org
  • http://www.worldagroforestrycentre.org/Sea
  • http://www.wrpinfo.scc.ca.gov/htmls/cc_manage.html
  • http://www.earthday.net/UER/report/5_parks.html
  • http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/live/nf631/build/nf631.pdf