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PIA Press Release

EcoGov trains DENR XII trainers on forest land use planning

by RH Sumagpao and M Calungsod-Locsin

Koronadal City (9 October) -- Koronadal City The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently trained a core of trainers on forest land use planning to ensure sustainable management of forests and forestlands in Region XII.

Some 20 Foresters from the four provinces in the region attended the training in the preparation and implementation of forest land use plan (FLUP) for local government units (LGUs) on September 22-25, 2009 in Tacurong City.

The move was in response to the increasing number of LGU's requesting for technical assistance from the DENR in Region XII.

A four-member team from the USAID-assisted Philippine Environmental Governance Project II (EcoGov II) headed by Mr. Ferdinand Esguerra, Regional Coordinator for South Central Mindanao, guided the participants in undergoing the process of formulating plans of action under the 10-year FLUP.

According to EcoGov II Forest and Forestland Management Sector head, Forester Casimiro Olvida, Region XII is advanced in terms of FLUP implementation nationwide. The ECOGOV has assisted a total of 21 LGUs in the region, 12 of which are still on-going.

"The primary purpose of a forest land use plan is to come up with recommendations and agreements on land allocations to close "open access. Forester Olvida explained."

Forest lands which are considered open access are those areas which are not covered with any management, tenurial or allocation arrangements.

The implementation of FLUP will prevent environmental destruction and minimize conflicts between and among community members who directly or indirectly benefit from these resources.

Moreover, the participants were made to undergo experiential learning through a field practicum on community mapping in Barangay Chua, Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat.

Executive Order No. 318 (Promoting Sustainable Forest Management in the Philippines) mandates LGUs to incorporate FLUPs into their comprehensive land use plans. It is to the best interest of the LGUs to allocate "open access" areas within their jurisdictions. (DENR XII/PIA SarGen) [top]

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