Government Embarks on Genetic Diversity Program of Narra, Rattan for Forest Conservation, Deforestation

Manila Bulletin, November 27, 2018 | Go to article overview

Government Embarks on Genetic Diversity Program of Narra, Rattan for Forest Conservation, Deforestation


By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

The government has embarked on a genetic diversity program of narra and rattan for forest conservation amid deforestation that threatens the country's economic resources.

The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) has started carrying out DNA analysis of economically important tree species as a long-term support to the National Greening Program (NGP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Genetic variation is the basis of evolution and the catalyst for species to adapt to ever-changing environment.

"Assessment of genetic variation among and within populations is essential for the success of any tree breeding and selection programs. It holds vast potentials for the preservation of the forest ecosystems," ERDB director Sofio Quintana said.

Six provinces, namely Ilocos Sur, Cebu, Iloilo, Marinduque, Nueva Vizcaya and Quezon, have so far been identified as potential sources of good planting materials for narra reforestation.

According to ERDB genetic experts Maria Theresa Delos Reyes, Gracetine Magpantay, Aimee Cagalawan, Aida Lapis, and Nenita Calinawan, "the genetic diversity analysis showed that the six populations of Pterocarpus indicus wild (narra) from the six provinces have good levels of genetic variation and can serve as good sources of potentially useful genes. …

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