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PIA Press Release

DENR appeals to public: Let our forests regenerate

by Ben Moses Ebreo

Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya (May 31) -- A top executive of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources(DENR) in Cagayan Valley has urged the public to refrain from harming the forest within the Sierra Madre mountain ranges inorder to provide a period to regenerate itself.

"Unknown to many, our forests can regenerate faster if they are fully protected and unharmed from human activities and interventions," said Benjamin Tumaliuan, DENR regional executive director for Cagayan Valley.

Tumaliuan made the call, citing the increase of Cagayan Valley's forest cover to 14 percent, particularly the Sierra Madre Bio-diversity Corridor(SMBC).

The increase in bio-diversity resources, he noted was known after a latest satellite scanning of the country's forest cover.

The increase of the region's forest cover made Cagayan Valley 2nd in rank region IV-B in the entire country.

Tumaliuan attributed the improvement of the region's forest cover on the provision and institutionalization of livelihood projects for communities living in critical protected forest areas in the SMBC which covers forests in the provinces of Batanes, Isabela,Cagayan, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya.

He also cited 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) specially in the SMBC.

The Sierra Madre, home to nearly half the country's forests, is essential habitat for threatened species. Since 2002, CI has conducted a series of scientific surveys along the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor that have significantly boosted awareness of the immense biodiversity sheltered in these mountains.

Luzon Island also claims the country's largest block of forest under protection. Not only is the Peņablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape habitat for threatened species, it's a critical watershed that supports irrigation, farming, and provides potable water for nearby Tuguegaro City. (PIA NVizcaya) [top]

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