Environmentalists pledge commitment to protect forests of Cagayan Valley
by Oliver Baccay
Tuguegarao City (29 March) -- Leaders and members of different stakeholders of Cagayan Valley Region have signed a declaration of commitment to take a bit in the protection and management of the valley's forests during the Regional Summit on Forest Management and Protection held here.
Secretary Heherson Alvarez, Climate Change Commission-Vice Chair and Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DENR) Asst. Secretary Regidor De Leon led the pledge of commitment with the local officials from the different provinces of the region, DENR officials and staff, members of the Regional Committee on Sustainable Development, non-government organizations, academe and the church.
The commitment is in pursuit of the goals of the summit in response to the nation's call for a healthful and balanced ecology, and in furtherance of a true sustainable development.
The environmentalists pledged to ensure the proper management of the forest covers by formulating clear and doable guidelines in all forest activities and defining the respective roles and responsibilities of every stakeholder.
During the summit, the participants have identified strategies to strengthen forest management and protection in the region.
"Our participants have pledged their commitment to help conserve our forests for the next generation. This are clear and doable that is why we are confident that this will materialize", Asec. De Leon said.
On forest law enforcement, Local Government Units, forest officials, policemen, soldiers, non-government organizations and the media will undertake monthly ground and aerial surveillance to the forest, establish one stop monitoring centers in Nueva Vizcaya, conduct capacity building for deputized forest officers, and strengthen co-management of devolved forest areas. This is to ensure that environment law enforcement is strictly implemented.
The members have also agreed to provide viable alternative livelihood in priority areas to solve problem of involvement of indigenous peoples in illegal activities due to poverty. The action plan also aims to harmonize inter-department guidelines that are conflicting in so far as environmental management and protection is concern.
Aside from this, a wider dissemination of information on the importance of forests and forestry laws, and policies must be intensified at the grassroots level through the tri-media. (PIA 2) [top]