DENR develops new assessment tool for pasture leases
by M Calungsod?Locsin
Koronadal City (13 May) -- A group of researchers of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently developed an assessment tool for pasture lease areas in the country.
This was bared by Dr. Wellington Z. Rosacia in a briefing conducted last April 27 at the DENR Regional Office No. XII in Koronadal City. In attendance were DENR employees including a a pasture lease holder in Koronadal City.
Dr. Rosacia is a senior researcher of DENR?s Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) based in Los Baņos, Laguna. He is the leader of the 12-member research project entitled "Rationalization on the Disposition of Pasture and Grazing Lands in the Philippines".
Relative to this, the said research team composed of technical personnel from the DENR?s ERDB and Forest Management Bureau were able to develop a unified assessment tool for grazing land management. "The tool will enable the Forestry Sector of the DENR to assess pasture lease areas in an objective and systematic way," Dr. Rosacia said.
The said tool will serve as a policy instrument that shall rationalize the disposition of pasture areas and grazing lands in the Philippines, particularly, for the continuation and renewal of existing productive pasture and grazing leases and those practicing sound management and the rehabilitation of partially damaged suitable leaseholds.
Conversely, this will also serve as basis for the cancellation and non-renewal of marginal pasturelands of non-productive degraded leased pasturelands and grazing leases with track record of grave and habitual violation of regulations.
One question raised during the open forum was on the setting aside of permanent pasture lands, a long-time clamor of cattle ranchers in Region XII. Dr. Rosacia said that under the revised 25-year Master Plan for Forestry Development, a total of 300,000 hectares nationwide shall be proposed as permanent pasture lands. This is to address the protein gap which causes the perennial problem of malnutrition in the country, the animal scientist said.
Forester Benjamin D. Alangca, Range Management Officer of DENR XII bared that "the region has a considerable area of about 27,798 hectares of pasture lands suitable for grazing purposes. "It is our duty to assist the grazing lease holders to sustainably manage and develop pasture lands for an increased productivity of the cattle industry in the region," Forester Alangca said.
Dr. Rosacia together with some DENR XII personnel visited some field offices and conducted on - site trainings for Range Management Officers assigned in different pasture lease areas in the cities of Koronadal and General Santos. (DENRXII/PIA SarGen) [top]