Trees downtown neglected, misused

May 26th, 2015 by

THE Interface Development Interventions Inc. (Idis) called for conservation efforts to protect Davao City’s urban biodiversity after a City Environment and Natural Resources (Cenro) survey of the city’s urban parks and forests revealed signs of neglect and misuse of trees growing all over the metro.

“We should also expand local conservation efforts to include the trees that are growing in our city parks because they help cool down urban temperature, reduce noise and air pollution and minimize urban flooding,” said Idis executive director Ann Fuertes.

Urban parks also provide mini-habitats for animals, especially birds, according to Fuertes.

The 2015 Cenro Urban Biodiversity Study revealed “the lack of silvicultural maintenance of trees/plants in the urban areas of the city.”

The study focused on six areas in the city, including People’s Park, Dacudao Avenue, Buhangin-Bajada Flyover, Magsaysay Park, Roxas Avenue and the Rizal, Quezon Centennial and Osmena Parks.

The biggest and largest trees were of the dipterocarp or hardwood variety, with People’s Park having the highest concentration of such species in the city.

The study pointed out that some trees at the park and other areas of city were used as structural posts for power and communication lines, which could endanger the public.

“More than ever, we should be cognizant of the need to save these trees and even plant more of them, in the face of the ongoing massive urban development that the city is undergoing. Green spaces are the city’s lungs. We need more of that here,” Fuertes said.

Fuertes also noted the absence of local laws or ordinances that would ensure the protection and maintenance of urban flora.

“We have national laws like PD 953, which among other things, penalize the unauthorized cutting and destruction of trees along subdivisions, parks and roads, but it is not being implemented. Perhaps, it is time that the city considers a local ordinance to better manage its urban green spaces,” she said. (Arianne Caryl N. Casas, SUNSTAR DAVAO)