ILOILO CITY, Feb. 27 – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 has presented its best Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) practices and gains in the National CBFM Practitioners Congress held at Fontana Convention Center in Pampanga recently.
The congress was attended by some 1,796 participants all over the country, composed of upland farmers, partnered Local Government Units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs) and DENR regional key officials.
DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said that the upland farmers as CBFM project beneficiaries were formerly using slash and burn farming method, but are now utilizing sloping agricultural technology to prevent forest denudation and landslide.
“These “kaingeneros” have since evolved into forest steward and are now members of People’s Organizations (POs) working as CBFM practitioners with the support of the development NGOs, donor institutions, an d DENR field offices,” Paje said.
With the theme "CBFM: Kaagapay sa tagumpay ng National Greening Program (NGP),” the congress discussed how the CBFM communities best practices in addressing forest destruction, as well as local problems, of food security and wood supply.
The CBFM-POs are important contributors for the implementation of the NGP since 60 percent of NGP areas are within the CBFM project sites.
According to DENR Regional Executive Director Julian D. Amador, CBFM POs will be the direct implementers of the NGP.
“We see CBFM-POs not only as “adaptors” but beneficiaries of the NGP as well. POs will be able to realize immediate income as they engaged themselves into seedling production and enjoy the fruits of their agroforestry and tree planting in the future,” Amador emphasized.
Some 56 participants involving upland farmers, and DENR key officials from the region attended the congress to showcase the best CBFMP site of Barangay Tabunacan, Pilar, Capiz.
The region’s CBFM good practices entitled "Tabun-acan – CBFM: A Blue Printed Legacy of Sustainable Forest Management" was presented by Angela Joy Alfaro of Capiz.
Other PO delegated were from the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Iloilo and Guimaras.
CBFM was adopted in 1995 through Executive Order 263 as the Philippines’ national strategy for the sustainable development of its forest lands. The strategy involves the engagement of forest-based families under a CBFM agreement with the DENR to develop, protect, and sustainably use portions of forest lands.
A total of 1.6 million hectares of forest lands have so far been placed under such agreements that are effective for 25 years, renewable for another 25 years.
CBFM is in support of President Benigno Aquino III’s commitment to his agenda and policy on environmental protection and in accordance with his priority programs specifically on poverty reduction, empowerment of the poor and the vulnerable, and ensuring a safe and stable environment. (PNA)