Residents of Paranas, Western Samar, welcome the opening of an eco-tourism site that would bring additional income for their area.
The Paranas Eco-trail and Birding Site was launched last Wednesday, August 21, through the combined efforts of the Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), local government units, and various people’s organizations.
The new sustainable tourism destination will be managed by Tenani Association for Women and Development (TAWAD), a local women’s organization.
The residents have expressed their optimism with this new development. “The success of this eco-trail will not only benefit the residents of Tenani but even our nearby villages and the entire town of Paranas,” said Elizabeth Doza, Eco-trail General Manager, in a statement.
This new destination contributes to providing sustainable livelihood to the people of Paranas. In addition, it also assures environmental protection against logging activities.
The government has also already trained the boatmen and river guides of the site. This ensuring the safety and quality of their services.
At present, another eco-tourism site that Paranas is known for is the Ulot River Extreme Torpedo Boat Ride. This transformed a portion of Samar’s longest river into a haven for nature and adventure lovers.
The eco-trail and birding site is situated within the 333,300-hectare Samar Island Natural Park (SINP). The SINP is the largest contiguous tract of old-growth forest and the largest terrestrial protected area in the Philippines.
The trail is home to 215 bird species and over 1,000 species of flora and fauna. It includes five rest stops: a sinkhole in the first stop, tall trees in the second stop, an organic farm in the third, a view deck and birding site on the fourth stop. Three treehouses with a hanging bridge awaits them at the final stop.
The trail’s development complements the natural setting of the SINP, preserving its natural resources.
The community is also looking at the possibility of developing another village into an eco-tourism site as well.
Continuing the legacy
This project is part of the Bantay-Kalikasan advocacy of late environment chief Gina Lopez, and has garnered continued support from the DOT and DENR.
“In many ways, she had impacted the people and community of Samar. I had been inspired by Ma’am Gina and I admire her dedication to service, to God, to the environment and the community. Let us not forget that the environment is our treasure and let us protect it,” said Samar Vice Governor Michael Tan.
via Philippine News Agency / Roel Amazona