The Urban and Biodiversity Research Development and Extension Center (UBRDEC) will establish Vertical Gardens (VG) with Pollutant-Absorbent Plant Species (PAPS) in identified sites within the urban barangays to lessen toxic gases in the air.
UBRDEC is a research arm of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) -Ecosystem Research and Development Bureau (ERDB).
Evangeline R. Marcelino, Supervising Science Research Specialist, speaking before more than 30 participants representing the different offices of the City Government of Puerto Princesa and barangay officials from urban barangays of the city, said that planting PAPS is the easiest and simplest way to lessen and eliminate the amount of toxic gases in the air since these plants absorbs toxic gases like sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) therefore tackling the issue of Climate Change.
“VG using PAPS has social, economic and environmental impacts. Nakakatulong ito dahil ma-minimize ang pollution. Nagkakaroon ng malamig ang kapaligiran. Mababawasan ang noise and air pollution,” she said.
Marcelino explained that the project started in cities is Metro Manila to address the air pollution in the area.
“Alam nyo naman kung gaano ka polluted ang air at noise sa Metro Manila. At dahil dikit dikit na ang mga kabahayan doon the Vertical Garden addressed the city’s lack of space. It is a fresh and green way to pitch in vibrancy to the polluted and tightly packed urban city. PET bottles yan ang pinapagamit namin kasi yan ay malaking tulong sa recycling at Solid Waste Management (SWM),” she explained.
Among the identified PAPS are Yellow bell, African tulip, Pandan, Bougainvillea, San Francisco, Creeping Daisy, Madagascar Periwinkle, Zigzag, Bandera Española. There are also trees considered as PAPS such as Ipil ipil, Molave, Dapdap, Bangkal, etc.
A study of the World Health Organization (WHO) released on May 2018, revealed that there are 45.3 deaths per 100,000 individuals due to air pollution. It is highest in China with 81.55 deaths and Mongolia with 48.8 deaths.
“Very rich ang biodiversity ng Puerto Princesa at kasabay nito ang laganap na urbanisasyon, pagdami ng gusali. E discuss ang pwede nating alternative method na ma-mitigate ang negative impact ng urbanization,” said Jan Marrion M. Cadelino, Science Research Specialist I.
Carmen Melo, Senior Science Research Specialist, emphasized the importance to promote urban greening for improvement of environment in Highly Urbanized Cities (HUC).
“Nag-increase yung natural resources utilization. Malaki ang pressure sa ating ecosystem. Resulta nito, sensitive areas ay pinasok na ng mga tao. Ang ginagawa ay kuha lang ng kuha. Exploitative kasi mas may benefit doon sa mga nagkukuha ng resources,” she said.
She said that they target to established pilot barangays by 2020.