Forest management up at 3-day meet
MANILA, Philippines—Forest stewards led by upland farmers will meet this month to discuss the challenges they face and to share their successful experiences in community-based forest management, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Officials from local government units and nongovernment organizations are expected to join the three-day convention beginning on Feb. 15 in Pampanga, which the DENR said would be the biggest gathering of forest-based communities and forest-focused NGOs to be assembled.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said many of the farmers expected at the convention used to be involved in kaingin or slash-and-burn farming, where they burn small patches of forest to grow upland rice, corn, root crops, beans and other vegetables.
But with the help of NGOs and the DENR, they have been transformed into forest stewards and now work as officers of people’s organizations involved in community-based forest management.
The conference will discuss how community-based forest management can be used to boost reforestation activities under the government’s National Greening Program.
The communities will also share their best practices in battling the destruction of forests as well as problems concerning food security and wood supply.
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