Arroyo directs DENR to survey and map protected areas
by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob
Cagayan de Oro City (13 February) -- Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has directed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to lead a Task Group to undertake a survey and mapping of the protected areas of the country within the next six (6) months.
Per Executive Order No. 774 signed by the President on December 26, 2008, this primary activity will set the state for the massive restoration and regeneration of said protected areas and the needed forest lands which will be marked on the ground pursuant to the Constitution.
"Part of the Php2 billion allocated for reforestation will be provided for the delineation and boundary marking of the forest lands within the Congressional districts," EO774 specified.
Water resources and watersheds will also be identified and protected, their water flow improved and their floral cover regenerated.
For this purpose, the fund set aside for the rehabilitation of watersheds under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) will be made available by the National Power Corporation for forest delineation and regeneration projects.
Meanwhile, DENR, the state universities and colleges (SUC's), particularly their departments of Biology and Marine Sciences, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and other scientific institutions will mobilize the youth.
The purpose is to conduct and complete an inventory of the flora and fauna in the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of their respective localities within 180 days from the issuance of EO774, for which funds will be allocated from their research budgets.
On the other hand, DENR and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will report to the Presidential Adviser on Climate Change (PACC) the progress of the initiative every Friday of every week until almost all of the flora and fauna have been identified. (PIA 10) [top]