Davao City now has Forest Land Use Plan

THE Davao City Government will further strengthen the conservation of forest lands, as it passed an ordinance for the adoption of the Davao City Forest Land Use Plan.

The ordinance was passed Tuesday, August 27, wherein policies such as the protection, enhancement, and advancement of forest lands in the city will be declared for the advancement of "the right of all Dabawenyos to a balance and healthful ecology."

The local government, under the ordinance, shall promote conservation of forest lands in pursuing sustainable urban development.

The ordinance will cover all the forest land areas, as well as the watersheds within the territorial jurisdiction of the city, and will cover the planning period 2019 to 2024.

Councilor Jesus Joseph Zozobrado III, proponent of the ordinance, said it will take effect 15 days after completion of its publication in a local newspaper.

Prior to its passage, City Planning Development Office (CPDO) head Ivan Cortez said the city must adopt a national policy on forest and which part of the city would be classified as forestland.

Cortez said the plan was the product of a seven-month workshop with consultation with different stakeholders, tribal communities, and other civil society organizations.

"Under the plan, eco-tourism activities in Marilog will be incorporated in the Land Use Plan," Cortez said during the committee hearing last August 14.

He also said it will also be integrated in the City Land Use Plan (Clup).

Different environmental groups have been pushing for this ordinance.

Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (Idis) executive director Chinkie Peliño-Golle said in a previous report that there is a need to have a Forest Land Use Plan to have an ecological balance in the city.

"If we don't have forests, our watersheds are not healthy anymore and if it is not healthy, there will be no enough supply of quality and quantity of water, and we are experiencing it right now," Peliño-Golle said.

She said only 44,000 hectares of the 244,000 of the total area of the city belong to the urban area and the bigger part is forest land.

Golle said in the city's Clup of 2013, there are identified forest areas but there is no management provisions that are required in developing the Clup.


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