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The Franciscan Youths (YOUFRA) of Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor: Feeling triumphant after giving their share to the community. Tree planting and clean up activities are one of the regular activities of these youth to help mitigate the adverse effects of climate change following their weekly formation at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor. (pia-siquijor/Rizalie Anding Calibo)
Central Visayas Region

PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Greening program to benefit agri sector

by Hazel Gloria

CEBU CITY, January 4 (PIA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) says the government's national greening program will considerably benefit the agriculture sector especially in improving water yield of watersheds.

"It would ensure supply of water to irrigate farmlands," DENR-7 regional executive director Maximo Dichoso said.

He also urged business sectors, academe, non-government organizations and other stakeholders to support the implementation of the National Greening Program (NGP) Central Visayas.

This developed as DENR-7 is set to cover 10,628 hectares this year or an increase of 188.71 percent of its 2011 target of 5,632 hectares covering the four provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor.

Dichoso added that under the NGP, the government seeks to improve the vegetative cover of watersheds that could supply the much needed freshwater requirement of the region.

“There is a need to work together for a collaborative greening and maintenance, at the same time promoting the strength of social mobilization and volunteerism through public-private partnership among the various stakeholders to make sure that we can hit the goal of planting 3.523 million seedlings this year,” he said.

By soliciting the help and support of our business sectors, we can ensure that those planted areas will be taken care of and that proper maintenance activities will be provided for with the resources available from them, Dichoso noted.

President Aquino issued EO-26 on February 24, 2011 declaring the National Greening Program as a government priority initiative to reduce poverty, promote food security, environmental stability and biodiversity conservation, and enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Specifically, it seeks to plant 1.5 billion seedlings in 1.5 million hectares of public lands nationwide in six years, from 2011 to 2016. This is more than twice the government’s accomplishment for the past 25 years, of about 730,000 hectares.

Dichoso explained that NGP addresses soil erosion, secures a sustainable supply of water and provides additional livelihood for farmers through agroforestry.

Food security is one of the pressing issues facing the Philippines today and widely regarded as highly susceptible to the effects of climate change. Soil erosion is equally problematic due to the country’s geographic conditions, the DENR said.

DENR data showed that about 20 million hectares or two-thirds of the country’s total land area of 30 million hectares, are hilly and mountainous, making these areas susceptible to soil erosion.

Soil erosion, according to studies, directly impact on low crop productivity, reduction of the capacity of water conveyance structures, destruction of wildlife habitat, and destruction of standing crops.(mbcn/hfg/PIA-7 & DENR-7)

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