Environment agency to reforest 8,000 hectares in Samar

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Monday, November 12, 2012


TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is working double time to reforest 8,000 hectares of land in Eastern Visayas region in 2012.

Only more than a thousand hectares have been planted as of last quarter under the National Greening Program (NGP).

DENR regional director Manolito Ragub said the planting will go full swing this quarter after laying down all preparations early this year.

“In this quarter, we will work double time because we have to achieve the target. I think we will be able to do that since we are done with seedling production,” Ragub said.

He said the project encountered a bit of delay since they have to ensure that the implementation will be transparent.

Since last year, the National Government embarked on a P102 million for the NGP in Eastern Visayas, with a goal to plant an average of over five million seedlings in every year.

“Last year, we planted about 8,000 hectares but there are more areas covered to include tree planting activities of various government and non-government organizations,” Ragub added.

The program prioritizes open and denuded forest land, mangrove and protected areas, and upland areas occupied by people’s organization.

Other target sites for planting under the program are ancestral domains, civil and military reservations, urban area under the Greening Plan of local government units, inactive and abandoned mines, among others.

The massive reforestation initiatives will plant fast-growing trees in open areas and fruit-bearing trees in agro forestry sites.

“This replanting is primarily aimed at reducing poverty in the countryside while ensuring food security, biodiversity conservation and address climate change,” he added.

The project will require P79.32 million for seedling production and P23.45 million for site preparations.

The goal of the NGP is to plant 1.5 billion trees nationwide in some 1.5 million hectares from 2011 to 2016, which is more than twice the government’s accomplishment of 730,000 hectares for the past 25 years.

Under Executive Order No. 26 issued on February 24, 2011, President Benigno Aquino III ordered the DENR to lead the implementation of NGP, with the members of the steering committee under the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, DENR Convergence Initiative to constitute the program’s Oversight Committee. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)

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