The Environment department’s Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) is assessing habitat and biodiversity impacts of the fire that razed part of Mt. Banahaw.
“We’re checking the extent of the fire’s damage to see if any unique habitat there was affected,” BMB Director Theresa Mundita Lim said.
She said the investigation will help BMB identify interventions needed to rehabilitate the burned area.
Straddling Quezon and Laguna provinces, Mt. Banahaw is generally considered a ‘holy mountain’ that’s popular among pilgrims and mountain climbers.
“It’s also a protected area,” Forest Management Bureau (FMB) Director Ricardo Calderon said.
He said the FMB formed a team to evaluate forestry conditions there.
In 2009, RA 9847 established Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape (MBSCPL).
Based on results of the National Biodiversity Conservation Priority-Setting project by BMB, University of the Philippines and Conservation International-Philippines, government classi–fied MBSCPL as “very high priority” for biodiversity conservation.
Vegetation there includes 358 species of trees, 19 vine species, 15 palm species, 39 fern species, 15 grass species, 42 fungi species, 17 shrub species and eight herb species, BMB said.