DENR targets 1 million hectares of reforestation during Marcos Jr.'s term | Inquirer News

DENR targets 1 million hectares of reforestation during Marcos Jr.’s term

/ 02:49 PM June 27, 2023

MANILA, Philippines— The state environment bureau aims to reforest at least one million hectares of lands nationwide before President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s term ends in 2028, said Secretary Maria Antonia Loyzaga on Tuesday.

While the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) wants to reforest two million hectares of land, its modest target currently sits at one million hectares due to a lack of partnerships with parties in priority areas.


“We need partnerships. The only way that we are going to be able to implement reforestation at a pace and ina-anticipate ng lahat is to build partnerships in those areas na priority siya… One million is the modest target… Two million is our reach, but sana po sa 10 million in terms of the overall 15 by the end,” said Loyzaga.


DENR first prioritizes forest sites from its National Greening Program (NGP) that were unsuccessful in generating the targeted forest covers, specifically in Cagayan Valley and parts of Mindanao.

According to the DENR chief, the Philippines has 15 million hectares of classified forest lands. However, only seven million hectares—less than half— have forest cover.

The Forest Survey of India defined forest cover as an area of more than one hectare in extent that has a tree canopy density of 10% and above. Hence eight million hectares of Philippine forest lands remain sparse, if not deforested.

Mapping natural resources

Loyzaga also announced on Tuesday the opening of a new office under the DENR: the National Natural Resource Geospatial Database Office (GDO) headed by Undersecretary Carlos Primo David.

READ: Marcos Jr. appoints critic Randy David’s son to DENR post


“That office was organized after our first meeting with the President after our appointment where we suggested to him that it would be essential to manage our natural resources through establishing a physical baseline, kung ano po ang nandiyan… in order for them to be accounted for, to be valued properly, and to be managed properly,” she said.

The environment chief said the GDO would maintain a national natural resources spatial database, a mapping tool that uses satellite photos to identify sites for reforestation, watershed management, and mining.

“It will allow us to identify yung saan ba yung priority in terms of reforestation or where should be the water systems and infrastructures,” said Loyzaga.

The DENR secretary revealed, however, that the GDO was set up without additional financial allocations from the national government and currently consists only of 10 entry-level contractual employees. Loyzaga said that the DENR will request budgets for the office for the next fiscal year 2024.


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TAGS: DENR, Marcos, Reforestation

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