PALO, Leyte, (PIA) – A multi-sectoral partnership between the communities, the government, the academe, and the non-government organizations was launched in Palo, Leyte on Thursday in a bid to rehabilitate the denuded forests in Eastern Visayas due to the havoc brought by typhoon Yolanda.

The launching was spearheaded by the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation Inc. (PTFCF), a non government organization in coordination with Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Provincial Government of Leyte, Municipality of Palo, OPARR, Philippine Information Agency, Philippine Science High School-Eastern Visayas Campus and other partner agencies.

PTFCF Executive Director Lawyer Jose Andres Canivel said, the move is part of the intervention of the foundation to help restore the forests destroyed by the typhoon.

“Naniniwala kami na hindi lang infrastructure ang kailangan e-rehabilitate but also yong natural infrastructure na mayaman ang Leyte,” Canivel added.

The program dubbed as “Forest and Community Rehabilitation Program” has a theme “It takes a Community: Forest and Community Rehabilitation in Leyte”.

Along with the launching was the MOA signing between PTFCF and Philippine Science High School on the support for beach forest nursery hub establishment in said school.

Other activities include beach forest tree planting at the MacArthur Landing Memorial Park Grounds and Barangay Candahug, Palo Leyte where former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Derrick Alston and former Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) player Allison Feaster participated in the outreach activities.

Reports have indicated that almost 40 percent of forested areas in Leyte were affected by the wrath of the typhoon.(AJC/CBA/PIA-8)