Paraesus Berde (Peoples Activities on Resources Acceleration for Ecological, Sustainable, Utilization and Security)
Lidlidda, Ilocos Sur
PARAESUS (Peoples Activities on Resources Acceleration for Ecological, Sustainable Utilization and Security) Berde or Green Paradise is geared towards the protection, conservation and development of forest resources in Lidlidda, a 6th class municipality of Ilocos Sur. The LGU signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the DENR delineating 40 hectares of land as the Ecotourism Regreening for Accelerated Productivity Area. The first town-wide tree planting activity was held in June 1993 where the barangay and people's organizations established their own area to maintain and develop. Access roads were built to facilitate the hauling of seedlings, watering of plants and monitoring of activities. As watering during the dry season proved to be very difficult, the municipality acquired a water truck from its savings. As of March 1999, almost 180,000 mahogany, pineapple and mango seedlings were planted throughout the locality. A convention center was also built to house meetings, seminars, and special events in the municipality.
Every last Thursday of the month is declared community service day where everybody renders voluntary services at the watershed area. In addition, more than 10 environmental ordinances were passed and are strictly implemented. They include the prohibition of sale and transport of firewood, requiring the father/guardian of a newborn child to plant at least 2 seedlings on the date of the child 's delivery, requiring every head of the family to plant 20 pieces of banana tubers and 20 pieces of pineapple shoots for the period of 5 years among others. Because of these interventions, kaingin has been eliminated and the previous 15% survival rate of trees in the area has now reached 75%. At present, potable spring water for 11 barangays is ensured and a communal irrigation system was established. Most importantly, the program has revived the Bayanihan spirit among the people of Lidlidda.
This program is recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Programs in the 1999 Galing Pook Awards.