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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
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Urban forestry program improves Dumaguete City forest cover up by 30%

By Rachelle M. Nessia

DUMAGUETE CITY, Jan. 24 (PIA) --- Dumaguete City now has more forest cover than it had ten years ago, thanks to the Urban Forestry Management and Development (UFMD) program that the city government started in 2002.

The city government reported that its forest cover increased from only 28 percent in 2009 to 30% this year, or an equivalent of 1,100 hectares more of land area planted with trees.

Officials from the city’s Environment and Natural Resource Office (ENRO) attribute the increased greenery to UFMD, that the LGU continues to undertake to address the sustainability issues besetting Dumaguete City’s aquifer and groundwater resources.

The Dumaguete City Information Office, in a report, explained that UFMD is an “innovative” city government program designed to rehabilitate, conserve, preserve, develop and manage the city’s urban forest resources.

It is implemented pursuant to City Resolution No. 130, Ordinance No. 20 enacted in 2002.

“The big challenge of the UFMD program today is global warming of which the only total remedy is by planting more trees,” said UFMD Coordinator Arestio Encabo.

Encabo said more trees in the city will help sustain the local water supply. “By implementing the UFMD program, we are improving the city’s water yield, absorption of toxic gases, improving windbreaks and indirectly reducing pressure on the extraction of natural resources,” he added.

Dumaguete Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria is also regulating the cutting of trees in the city, a move that saved more than ten century-old Acacia trees from being cut down.

The mayor has been appealing to residents with trees in their areas to avoid cutting their trees. “We all must be part of the solution to the problem of global warming and climate change,” the mayor said.

This year, the City Information Office reported that more than 3,000 forest tree seedlings were planted in the city’s different barangays under the UFMD program. (mbcn/RMN/PIA Negros Oriental)

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