Men and children works together in preparing soil media for potting (left) and help raise seedlings (right) in Culasi, Antique.
The expanded National Greening Program (eNGP) which will run the course of another twelve (12) years (2017-2028) put the Environment Department abuzz with activities this year.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 target to plant 13,194,618 seedlings of different species throughout the region to cover a total area of 11,815 hectares.
An initial funding of more than Php300-M is expected to fund the next phase of the reforestation program which, by virtue of Executive Order 193, expands the program coverage to include the reforestation of “all remaining unproductive, denuded, and degraded forestlands.”
“We have been consistently working with our field personnel in the implementation of the eNGP. Through the eNGP, not only do we want to attain climate resiliency or ecological balance. We also want to see the improvement of the economic lives of our people in the uplands and coastal areas, and that everybody benefits in the long run,” said Regional Director Jim O Sampulna.
New plantations are up for development under the 2017 eNGP implementation which shall include three (3) activities, namely: 1. Seedling production; 2. Site preparation and planting; and, 3. First year maintenance and protection. On the other hand, project beneficiaries for the 2015 and 2016 NGP sites will continue with their maintenance and protection activities. The maintenance and protection activities continue for three years after the plantation has been established. Moreover, the eNGP aims to generate 13,063 jobs region-wide.
In 2016, the DENR 6 has planted a total of 15,225,032 seedlings in a span of 8,977 hectares of various NGP areas in the four provinces of Western Visayas namely, Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Iloilo. The seedlings were raised by the different People’s Organizations (POs) from January to June 2016 with contribution from the State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).
DENR Secretary Regina Lopez has repeatedly expressed her desire to help the poor beneficiaries of the Department in upland and coastal areas. She is working hard to implement the Sustainable Integrated Area Development (SIAD) concept for the eNGP and other major projects of the Department which is comprehensive and can thereby help in alleviating poverty.
“I really feel that the DENR is in a position to alleviate poverty in the country,” she said. Her marching order to all DENR employees is to see to it that people benefit from their own natural resources. “Your job is to improve the lives of people,” she stressed.
Bamboo Plantation Development Project (BPDP) to be done under the eNGP
Native products made from bamboo are abundant in Western Visayas. The DENR is now strengthening the value and production of bamboo through its Bamboo Plantation Development Project (BPDP). Aside from its unique commercial value, bamboo also plays an important role in climate mitigation and adaptation measures.
Photo Credits: Left: www.cebuimage.com, Right: www.cityofwaterfalls-iligancity.com
Under the expanded National Greening Program (eNGP), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will now implement the Bamboo Plantation Development Project (BPDP).
The project will be implemented for six years, from 2017 until 2022. It is aimed at improving the adaptive capacities of human communities and natural systems; sustainably manage natural resources; and improve environmental quality for healthier and cleaner environment.
From 2017–2022, the BPDP will develop and rehabilitate a total of one million hectares of watersheds, marginal areas, creek lines, riverbanks and areas prone to erosion across the whole country. BPDP’s implementation strategies shall be on a community-based scheme to enable the stakeholders to experience and develop a strong sense of commitment to protect the environment.
The DENR in Western Visayas has a target area of 4,328 hectares, distributed among the following provinces: Aklan–1,000 ha.; Antique–500 ha.; Capiz–1,328 ha.; Iloilo–1000 ha.; and Guimaras–500 ha.
Known as the world’s tallest grass, the bamboo is also resilient to strong winds and rains and thereby helps protect its surrounding environment during typhoons. Scientific studies on bamboo proved that it is an effective erosion control plant and natural control barrier due to its widespread root system and large canopy; it helps mitigate water pollution due to its high nitrogen consumption; it can sequester up to 12 tons of carbon dioxide from the air per hectare; it keeps twice so much water in the watersheds; and it sustains riverbanks.
The BPDP implementation will boost bamboo supply which is considered a non-timber forest product. It also supports Republic Act 879 which promotes the use of bamboo as alternative material to wood in making school furniture.
Here in Western Visayas, we still have ample area to cultivate bamboo. It is another opportunity for the various people’s organizations involved in the project to also create livelihood in the process. By seriously implementing this project, we wanted bamboo supply to be sustainable. This is because bamboo is a very important component of development – be it a commercial development or ecological development. Bamboo is indeed a versatile product of nature,” said DENR 6 Regional Director Jim O Sampulna.