2015 CBFM-NGP congress highlights success

PASAY CITY  – This, President Benigno Aquino III stressed during the recently held 2015 Community-Based Forest Management – National Greening Program (NGP) Congress which gathered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Central and regional offices, along with the people’s organizations involved in the implementation of the administration’s greening project.

Some 40 DENR personnel led by Regional Director Ralph Pablo and 51 people’s organizations from the Cordilleras attended the said two-day congress held at the World Trade Center. The first day was marked by Pres. Aquino who highlighted the administration’s accomplishment under the NGP.

“Sa pagbabayanihan ng pamahalaan, mga pamayanan at organisasyon, nakapagtanim na tayo ng 766 milyong seedlings sa 1.2 milyong ektarya ng lupain. Nalampasan na po natin ang pinagsamang 1.19 milyong ektarya ng naunang apat na administrasyon,” he reported adding the planted seedlings are expected to help in the absorption of 30 million tons of carbon every year.

“Ang dating forest cover naman na 6.8 million hectares bago mag-umpisa ang programa, lumawak na sa 8 milyong ektarya. Ibig sabihin mas malinis na ang hangin para sa milyon-milyon nating kababayan; mas masiglang kalikasan at mas napangalagaang likas na yaman, na mapapakinabangan ng mas nakararami,” the President further said.

In the region, the DENR-CAR, with the help of its various partner people’s organizations, has already exceeded its 2015 target planting an aggregate area of 14,658 hectares under the regular NGP and an additional 3,140 under the supplemental NGP.

Aside from the NGP accomplishments, best practices were also showcased wherein three were from the Cordilleras. These were the “Greening the Uplands through Integrated Agroforestry Farming Approach” by the Guinaang Community Development Association in Conner, Apayao; the “Better Prevention More Inspiration” by the Burayukan Pagrangayan Movement Inc. in Tabuk City, Kalinga; and the “Financial Rise Achieved through Multiple Economically and Environmentally Viable Income Generating Project by the Federation of Responsive Association for Magat Ecology in Lamut, Ifugao.

The discussion of these practices was intended for other organizations in other regions’ possible adoption. On the second day of the congress, the NGP discussion continued with a planning session relative to the El Niño phenomenon and a review of the 2015 implementation.

In addition, the DENR and the Land Bank of the Philippines launched partnership on the credit facilities for CBFM.

Furthermore, the Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programmed led an orientation on non-timber forest product development followed by the soft launching of the Forest Management Bureau’s website.

The congress concluded with the setting of roadmap for the national CBFM-NGP network by people’s organizations federation officials and other NGP partners.

The National Greening Program, which is about to end on 2016, aims to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares of public lands. With a year left of implementation, the DENR, in partnership with various stakeholders, is yet to plant more to ensure sustainable environment and living. By Abner Villanueva