Lake Lanao to be restored in six months

After decades of environmental degradation, the preservation of the largest lake in Mindanao gets support from the national government.

Lanao del Sur Governor Soraya Adiong together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 10 Director Ruth Tawantawan, signed an agreement on the implementation of the Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Project (INREMP) for Lake Lanao.

The signing of the agreement in Quezon City was attended by DENR Secretary Gina Lopez and ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, among others.

INREMP aims to support poverty reduction, watershed and upper river basins management, and biodiversity conservation by developing the capacities of local government units are some of the major projects of DENR’s Forest Management Bureau.

Both parties in the MOA foresee “increased revenues from watershed management and livelihood investments, leading to a sustainable socio-economic and ecotourism development in Mindanao.”

Lake Lanao is considered as one of the 15 ancient lakes in the world in which 75 percent of the estimated household beneficiaries are indigenous people.  

Adiong said the program “will change the lives of the Maranaos," adding that Lake Lanao is not only for the Maranaos but for the country as the waters from these rivers and tributaries is the primary source of domestic energy.

Secretary Lopez stressed that the change in the quality of people’s lives covered by the project is the real measure of its success and they hope to see the impact in the next six months.

The project will be implemented through a total loan grant of $154.12 million from Asian Development Bank, Global Environmental Facility and the Climate Change Fund of the Philippine government.

The Chico Basin in the Cordillera Autonomous Region, the Wahig-Inabanga River Basin in Bohol, Lake Lanao in Lanao del Sur, and the Upper Bukidnon River Basin in Bukidnon are the four upper river basins to be developed.

See Tracking Change for more environment and agriculture priorities of the Duterte administration.