Cagayan Valley's forest cover up - DENR
by Ben Moses Ebreo
Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya (May 27) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Thursday said forest cover in the region increased over the past decade due to the support of various stakeholders.
Benjamin Tumaliuan, DENR regional executive director, said forest cover in the region has increased to 14 percent and is now ranked 2nd with region IV-B nationwide.
The Sierra Madre mountain range which also cover a portion of Cagayan Valley have contributed to the improving forest cover in the region.
"This improvement of our forest cover can be attributed to the sharing of responsibility among our stakeholders specially in upland communities," Tumaliuan who attended the DENR Command Conference in barangay Darapidap here said Thursday.
According to Tumaliuan, major interventions are also being carried out by their agency in coordination with other government agencies such as the provision and institutionalization of livelihood projects for communities living in critical protected forest areas in the provinces of Batanes, Isabela,Cagayan, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya.
He said the this intervention has been endorsed and approved by the Regional Development Council(RDC) in the region inorder to provide livelihood opportunities among affected sectors through convergence of national as well as local government resources.
"In this way, we can refocus their old ways of livelihood which is dependent mostly on our forest products instead of encouraging them to plant for livelihood purposes,"Tumaliuan stressed.
The regional executive also added that other factors which contributed immensely to the improving forest cover in the region are the total log ban imposed during the administration of DENR secretary Fulgencio Factoran, the implementation of Asian Development Bank-funded forest protection projects and the achievements of private plantations in the region and the strengthening of Protected Area Management Boards(PAMBs) in the region among others.
"At present, we have trimmed down logging companies without permits from 54 during those time to only 4," Tumaliuan said.
The four companies in the region are IFMA, Montealto, PATECO and Liberty logging firms. (PIA NVizcaya) [top]