The province of Catanduanes has adopted a new local tourism promotion program that gives tourists the privilege of taking part in tree planting during their stay.
Dubbed as “One Tourist, One Tree,” the recently launched program is directed towards making the local tourism industry an avenue for keeping the verdant greenery of the province.
To participate in the program tourists are asked to register at no cost with the Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) at the Capitol complex where the seedlings, plant markers, including the appropriate area to plant within their routes would be provided.
Gov. Araceli Wong has ordered the conversion of an idle space within the complex into a nursery where tree seedlings are being propagated, Carmel Garcia, the provincial tourism officer, said in the statement.
Apart from enjoying the lifestyle in the island, tourists come to feast on the beauty offered by the marvelous scenery, play at its surfing sites and experience the hospitality of its people, but also plant a seedling on the ground.
Markers bear the names and nationality of the tourists, giving them the pride of sharing their love to Mother Nature and helping Catanduanons sustain a life blessed with ecological wonders and healthy and resilient environment, Garcia said.
The island boasts of a 60,000-hectare of forests considered as the largest green patch in Bicol that includes the government-protected 26,010-hectare Catanduanes Watershed Forest Reserve as well as its 1,500 hectares of old and second-growth forests and abaca plantations which are home to various wildlife species.
The province is listed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as one of the country’s most important areas of biodiversity.
It is a rapidly-developing island-province which President Benigno Aquino III has included in his administration’s countryside development as a tourism growth area and as the country’s top producer of abaca, a -million yearly export earner of the country.
Fondly called the “Land of Howling Wind” Catanduanes is a promising travel destination for its ecotourism wonders, dive sites and sea surfing venues along its long string of palm-fringed beaches backed by jungle-covered mountains and crowned with jewel-like islets.
The province offers a totally laid-back rural charm, a beautiful natural environment and plenty of easy action at a pace that’s always relaxed. (with Danny O. Calleja)