In its bid to intensify safeguarding of one of Ilocos Norte’s top protected landscape—the Paoay Lake National Park (PLNP), the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Ilocos Norte recently launched here the month- long celebration of the Environment Month.With PENRO employees in full force alongside Ilocos Norte Water District (INWD) and Provincial Veterinary Office (PVet) personnel, the group carried out an environmental assessment of households near and around the lake specifically in Brgys. Nangguyudan, Sungadan, and Suba, Paoay, Ilocos Norte.
According to PENR Officer Juan P. de los Reyes, the assessment generally aimed to undertake precautionary measures for the protection of the lake and its adjacent watersheds.
“We chose the Paoay Lake National Park as the launch pad of the celebration because the lake is a natural icon in Ilocos Norte. The lake is very critical not just for Paoay folks and their neighboring towns but for the whole province, thus we intend to raise the bar and take the lead for protection and management of Paoay Lake,” de los Reyes said.
Recently, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte has been pushing a grand eco- tourism plan within the PLNP to draw more investments and income for the province.
Survey questionnaires with regard to waste disposals, farming practices, and pertinent matters concerning ecological dispositions were floated in the three barangays surrounding the lake particularly households within 50- 100 meters from the PLNP.
The result of the survey is expected to make out a resolution that will strengthen the protection and management of the lake.
Antecedent to the assessment of households are series of water quality testing and animal surveys conducted by INWD and PVet respectively to check the water condition of the lake and record migratory bird counts as well as other animal counts.
Apart from the assessment and monitoring activities, a clean- up drive within the PLNP area was also undertaken along with some local officials.
“Management and protection of the PLNP and all our natural resources should not only be performed by DENR or PENRO, rather it is a collective task mandated by law enjoining every citizen to give due care and safeguard our environment as a social responsibility,” de los Reyes added.
On June 18 and 25, an Eco Walk from San Nicolas town up to the city proper of Laoag and a massive tree planting activity at the Paoay Lake National Park particularly in Brgys. Nanguyudan and Sungadan areas will take place respectively where a huge number from the different sectors of the province are expected to join. (Florante A. Nicolas, DENR- PENRO- I.N.)