The government plans to harness the potential of the forestry and mining sectors to support economic growth and development in the Philippines, an official with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said.
DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones listed forestry and mining plans at the 48th Philippine Conference and Trade Expo hosted by the Chamber Commerce and Industry of the Philippines last month in Manila, where he was representing DENR Secretary Maria Antonia. Yulo Loyzaga.
In a press release, he said the DENR’s forestry and mining strategic plans and programs aim to “support our country’s growth trajectory within the context of resilience and sustainable development.”
The plans and programs are consistent with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s policy statement during his first State of the Nation address, in which the nation’s top official emphasized environmental preservation as the key to “the preservation of life”.
He said that as the agency mandated to manage the country’s natural wealth, the DENR aims to develop acceptable, science-based and risk-informed strategies to conserve and protect the environment and natural resources through partnerships with various government agencies, civil society organizations and advocates, industries and academia.
To stimulate more investment in forestry, Leones said the DENR aims to establish a conducive investment climate by developing a real-time, one-stop-access forestry investment portal that will provide forestry investment information and services. and areas ready for development and use.
The portal will contain links to financial and credit facilities from partner financial institutions such as the Development Bank of the Philippines, which supports DENR’s agroforestry planting program.
It will also offer access to insurance packages from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. for some tree species in developed forest plantations, he added.
Leones disclosed that the DENR is open to a public-private partnership to develop approximately 960,000 hectares for timber production and agroforestry.
He said the forestry sector could also be a potential source of nature-based offsets in carbon trading and offsetting systems that could generate climate finance from carbon market mechanisms through voluntary markets. , compliance markets and results-based payments via REDD+ or carbon reduction. Deforestation and forest degradation.
Leones said the DENR has also stepped up forest protection by curbing illegal logging in reducing hotspot areas nationwide.
Recognizing the various benefits of bamboo in stabilizing river systems and serving as a carbon sink, Leones said the agency is considering partnerships with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and other government agencies for the development of the bamboo industry, one of the main targets in its national greening program.
The DENR currently oversees 15 million hectares of land classified as forest land. In 2011, the country’s forest cover was 6.8 million hectares, but it has increased by 5.6% or 7.2 million hectares based on recent 2020 data captured by the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority or NAMRIA.