"Riparian forest buffers are natural or re-established streamside forests made up of tree, shrub, and grass plantings. They buffer non-point source pollution of waterways from adjacent land, reduce bank erosion, protect aquatic environments, enhance wildlife, and increase biodiversity." - U.Missouri Center for Agroforestry
The many benefits of a Riparian forest buffer are well covered in the video presentation. The use of native plants was emphasized. In our own projects however, we will include deep-rooted grasses, like Vetiver, to facilitate stabilization of banks and control rainwater flow in rolling hills common in the Philippines.
Rather than left alone, the video underscored the need for cultivation, especially of the grasses and non-perennial plants to encourage vigorous growth. To be practical and viable, the video also espoused the management of the riparian forest buffer so that it will generate additional income for the farmer. In the US, further incentives are provided to farmers through "rent fees" and partial reimbursement of the cost of the establishment of the riparian forest buffer. Unfortunately, in developing countries, like the Philippines, such incentives are not provided by the government.
The establishment of riparian forest buffers is integral part of our proposed 'Rainwater Harvesting" project to aid in long term water sequestration, especially ground water recharge through percolation. The resulting natural canal will serve also as a natural irrigation system to distribute stored water in the local micro-irrigation system, including surface rainwater sequestration in major ponds and spillover reservoirs.
Considering how costly lands are in the Philippines, the resulting riparian zones will be developed more intensively and serve multi-purposes -fish habitat, biomass production, fruit bearing riparian trees, shrubs and plants, wildflowers for beekeeping, etc.