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PIA Press Release

New Davao Norte DENR official to focus on forest concerns

by Jean D. Abangan

Tagum City (22 July) -- The new Davao del Norte Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is setting its focus on forest protection.

Addressing the Monday Convocation at the Bulwagan ng Lalawigan, PENRO-DENR Ruth M. Tawantawan explained that her strategies on forest protection would involve participatory and transparency approaches.

Her strategies will also be designed to support the global campaign on sustainable development, to push the provincial government agenda as coined in the RDR WHEELS, and to support the soon-to-be passed Environment Code of the province.

Davao del Norte provincial government PENRO is currently running a series of public consultation from July 15 to August 21 at the municipal and component city level regarding the proposed Environment Code of Davao del Norte.

Meanwhile, with regards to forest management services, Tawantawan intends to reforest the denuded areas in the province which accounts for 35.2 percent of the total land area of Davao del Norte.

"I hope the provincial government will put money into it," referring to open areas which she hopes get reforested.

So far PENRO-DENR has reforested 6,530 hectares disbursing P92.5 billion for such purpose.

This year, it has targeted to do tree planting in almost 200 hectares through working with people's organizations to which the P3.65 million reforestation funding will be coursed through, Tawantawan revealed.

On the other hand, Tawantawan bared Davao del Norte to have served as the center of wood delivery, packing, jumping off station of processed wood deliveries, and a value-adding place of wood products.

To sustain the wood industry of the province, as much as 130,195 cubic meters of woods are needed that would mean 424 hectares should be logged annually, Tawantawan explained.

But she made it clear that the wood industry here does not depend solely on Davao del Norte can provide but it is getting much of its needed volume from the provinces of Agusan, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental.

Tawantawan said Davao del Norte is supplying only 20 percent of the wood industry requirement and that 95 percent of the 20 percent volume it is providing, "are planted species."

"Only five percent is naturally grown," she said.

Other than the forest protection and services, Tawantawan also wants to strengthen the coastal and marine resource management and land management services of her office. (PIA) [top]

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