The Negros Occidental provincial government, with the aim to create and strengthen its proactive environmental programs, will establish a Biodiversity Conservation and Nature Tourism Center in Barangay San Fernando, Talisay City.
The center will rise on a property in the upland Sitio Pulakpulakan, Barangay San Fernando, which spans between 50 and 60 hectares.
“We are very excited. The provincial government is committed to see to it that funding is always there to support the development of this area. In the next six months, we will be back here to inaugurate the first building,” said Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, who led the groundbreaking rites with 3rd District Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez and Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II on Friday.
Being poised as a tourism attraction, Lacson said he hopes the Biodiversity Conservation and Nature Tourism Center will be the province’s “next Mambukal”.
The provincial government-owned Mambukal Resort and Wildlife Sanctuary in Murcia town is one of the top tourist destinations in Negros Occidental.
Lacson said that through the Biodiversity Conservation and Nature Tourism Center, his administration seeks to promote sustainable development, community empowerment, forest protection, increase ecological awareness, and strengthen the concept of social entrepreneurship through ecotourism development as a means of providing source of livelihood.
“The structure will also serve as an iconic center to showcase our structures which utilized bamboos. It will have its own multi-purpose hall, observatory tower, livelihood center, bamboo treatment facility, materials recovery facility, and wildlife research center,” he added.
Diaz said that each year starting this 2023, the provincial government is allotting a budget of PHP90 million for the development of the Biodiversity Conservation and Nature Tourism Center.
Benitez also said he will file a bill in the House of Representatives that will declare the center an ecotourism site.
“We’ll also see if the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority can provide funding to improve the road conditions,” he added. (PNA)