21 hectares reforestation projects destroyed by fire in Kalinga
Tabuk City, Kalinga (29 May) -- The long dry spell has taken its toll on reforestation projects here with 21.6 hectares of plantations of trees of various stages were burned.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) provincial office Senior Forest Management Specialist Noel Barrientos said that 19.6 hectares of plantation still on seedling stage in Liwan, Rizal were totally burned and total lost in investment cost amounts to P191,000.00.
Barrientos said the plantation is part of a reforestation project funded under the Upland Development Program (UDP), which grants financial assistance in the amount of P32,000.00 and P12,000.00 to individuals or groups respectively who want to establish reforestation projects or maintain forest areas.
Another plantation ate up by fire during the peak of El Nino was a community reforestation project in Ileb, Nambaran, Tabuk. "The plantation is a mix up of grown up forest tree species planted along the road and saplings planted in 2005," Barrientos said.
He said two hectares plantation financed by the national government under the Convergence for Peace and Development with an investment cost of P41,000.00 were also burned. There were other fire incidents that happened around the province but these were the cases reported, he said.
Barrientos admitted the rate of destruction is faster than the efforts of reforesting denuded forests and planting barren lands. "Thousands of hectares had been reforested and planted but it is very far from replacing what has been destroyed," he lamented.
This year, the provincial office of DENR has tie projects with the Office of the Congressman to propagate and plant bamboo and rubber tree in areas where the species could survive. (PIA) [top]