Mangrove Magic – Coastal Restoration in Sorsogon with Rotary Club San Pedro

28 August 2016, Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon.  Organised by the Rotary Club of San Pedro Magic in the Barangay (Tag. for village) of Prieto Diaz in Sorsogon, FEED was invited by the  15 youth Rotarian leaders to help replant one thousand native “Bacawan Bato” (Lat. scientific name “rhizophora styles”) Philippine mangrove species, as part of San Pedro Magic’s annual environmental program and as the launch of a collaborative partnership.

Aside from restoring wetlands and coastal regions, RC San Pedro Magic also conducts coastal cleanups, eco-marathons* and plantings for children with special needs in the Philippines.


Off the beaten track, this stunning  Prieto Diaz Mangrove Forest was created by the Prieto Diaz Mangrove Forest & Coastal Management Showcase – set up by members of a volunteer group officially called SeaManCor (seagrass, mangrove and coral) Eco-Developers, Inc.  The Mangrove Forest is surrounded by large agricultural lands (mostly native rice), tall mountain peaks, lush tropical jungles, fishing towns and beautiful soft, sandy beaches – all making Sorsogon an ideal candidate for sustainable eco-tourism – if master planned and managed properly.

Video on Mangrove Species in Sorsogonyoutube-bacawan-bato

On the types of mangrove varieties RC San Pedro Magic & FEED planted in Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon:  Local environmental leader Kuya Pedro speaks about the native “Bacawan Bato”, aside from which are two other varieties –  the male and female, which he says behave in comparable fashion to humans – the male seed dropping from the trees whenever ripened; and the female variety more selective in timing.

About Mangrove Systems

Mangrove systems support a range of wildlife species and their respective habitats including crocodiles, birds, tigers, deer, monkeys and honey bees. Birds in particular have rookeries or nesting areas, and as migratory species also depend on mangroves during seasonal migrations.

“Mangroves are one of the most productive ecosystems on the earth. They perform a variety of useful ecological, bio-physical, and socio-economic functions, and are the source of a multitude of benefits to coastal populations.

The timber from mangrove forests is used for a variety of purposes, including for making houses, boats, and fish traps. In many countries, mangrove wood is used to produce charcoal, and as firewood. There are a number of other non-timber benefits extracted from the range of mangrove forest species, including honey, tannin from bark, thatch material, edible fruits, fodder, and medicinal properties of certain species with potential commercial applications and recreational values.”


“Most mangrove forests lay down peat — thick, heavy layers of carbon-rich soil that stays waterlogged and doesn’t rot.

There are other important peat forests worldwide, but the microbial processes in those peat forests give off pretty substantial amounts of methane, which is a greenhouse gas in its own right. The saline soils of the mangroves generally prevent this methane production. That gives us a huge extra carbon store in the soil.

But it’s not just a store. Mangroves are celebrated as one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet, and it is believed that about 10% of what they produce also gets sequestered away in the soil.

pireto diaz map.pngThat word “sequestered” should be music to our ears. In other words, mangroves are natural carbon-scrubbers, taking CO2 out of the atmosphere and packing it away, for millennia or more, in their rich soils.

So if you had a dollar to invest in carbon futures, my strongest advice of all would be to invest in preventing mangrove loss, or even restoration. There’s no magic cure to the challenges of global change – warming, rising seas, worsening storms and ocean acidification – we’ll only ever get there through a combination of interventions. Mangroves aren’t sufficiently widespread to tip the scales, but they give a greater return on investment than many other mitigation efforts.

But on a unit-area basis, it would be hard to think of a more important ecosystem. And that’s before you even start to add up the value for fisheries, timber, tourism, coastal protection and so on.”  


FEED Photo Tour:

FEED thanks the Rotary Club of San Pedro Magic for joining forces in their environmental advocacies, the first of many to come – the next being the Eco-Run 2016 (marathon) taking place on 10 December 2016 – contact us for more info!  

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About Rotary Club of San Pedro Magic:

RC San Pedro Magic was chartered during the term of 3820 District Governor Jojo De Guia, with the help of DGSRs PP Reggie Ponce (RC Sta. Cruz) and PP Erwin Serrano (RC San Pedro South New Generations).

The transition from being Rotaractors to Rotarians, is indeed ‘magical’. This had been the dream of PP Edison “Magic” Ong. He was mentor to a number of Rotaractors, and he envisioned that Rotaractors must be trained to be Rotarians for continuity of service.

It is indeed a big move for the charter members of the Rotary Club of San Pedro Magic to be Rotarians. The members decided that it is high time for them to start a difference in District 3820 to form a Rotary club composed of former Rotaractors. RC San Pedro Magic is the second club named in honor of Sir ‘Magic’, the Rotary Club of Manila Magic being the first.

The club members are composed of professionals trained during their Rotaract years. They were members of the Rotaract Club of San Pedro East, hailed Most Outstanding Club for ten consecutive years in District 3820. They were able to conduct projects such as “Big Ate Kuya, “RACSPE Academy”, “Young Once”, “Project HOPE” and the notable “Greenvironment” which was recognized as Outstanding project in the Asia Pacific Region by the Rotary International – to mention a few.

For more information on the Rotary Club San Pedro Magic, visit

For more information on Living Legacies and/or Mangrove Reforestation, contact:

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