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PIA Press Release

DENR rehabilitates 8,000 has. in Bicol River basin

by AS Araya

Legazpi City (3 February) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Bicol have rehabilitated some 8,495 hectares of open and denuded forest within the Bicol River Basin last year.

DENR has also rehabilitated some 111 kilometers river banks under a structural measures, 2,738.5 cubic meters gabion/check dams, 2,699 linear meters eco-blocks and nine units small water impounding system were constructed.

The agency's yearend report said around 2,980 hectares of degraded forest lands were restored in 2009 alone, through upland reforestation, agro-forestry development and assisted-natural regeneration measures in the BRB-covered provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte.

DENR is tasked to oversee the watershed management and development component of the Bicol River Basin and Watershed Management Project (BRBWMP).

BRBWMP is a six-year development initiative that started in 2007 to improve the quality of life of river basin communities.

Primarily, the project aims to enhance livelihood and improve natural resources management through coordinated and sustainable development activities in a river basin context.

The watershed management and development component is carried out using regular fund under the DENR Upland Development Program (UDP).

A total budget of PP327 million had already been released to DENR Region 5 for implementation of project activities.

Details of last year's accomplishment regarding the restoration of 2,980 hectares of degraded forest lands are as follows:

Under upland reforestation, a total of 2,012 hectares were planted 100 hectares in Albay, 300 hectares in Camarines Norte and 1,612 hectares in Camarines Sur.

Under agro-forestry, 96 hectares of agroforestry farms were established -78 hectares in Sipocot and 18 hectares in Bula town- all in Camarines Sur.

For assisted natural regeneration scheme, a total of 872 hectares were rehabilitated -250 hectares in Barangay Tuaca, Basud, Camarines Norte; 150 hectares in San Lorenzo Ruiz, CamNorte; 222 hectares in Calabanga, Camarines Sur; and 250 hectares in the Bicol Natural Park, Lupi, Camarines Sur.

The DENR Report also states there are now 1,666 hectares established plantations under protection and maintenance in the BRB-covered provinces. (DENR V/PIA) [top]

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