DENR Bicol proposes expansion of Catanduanes Natural Parkpr6

What could be smallest now in terms of land area as a province may turn out to be the biggest protected area in the entire Region as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) seeks to expand the Catanduanes  Watershed Forest Reserve (CWFR) from 26,000 hectares (ha) to 48,831 ha.

The National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) and DENR V Land Evaluation Party in their recent field validation  found CWFR suitable for proclamation under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) owed to its old growth forest consisting mostly of Dipterocarp or hardwood species. It also covers 10 municipalities including Bagamanoc, Baras, Caramoran, Gigmoto, Pandan, Panganiban, San Andres, San Miguel, Viga, and Virac. The watershed forest reserve has potable water that support domestic and agricultural uses and could supply sufficient water for energy generation. It also harbors important plant and animal species in habitats fit for recreation and adventure.

But while the area offers opportunities for growth, it is also beset with challenges such as timber poaching, slash-and burn farming, changing land use, siltation, wildlife poaching, among others. These are the same reasons why the government sets aside areas for protection to secure resources required by present and future generations of humans.To expand the reserve would mean greater protection of the reserve and the wildlife plant and animal species  present in the area. It will also promote reproduction among endangered animal species since their range or areas frequented becomes larger making possible reproduction, larger area to hunt for food and improve the natural ecosystems functioning since these processes recognize no political boundaries. As bigger areas get protection from poachers, for instance, the adjacent towns are expected to afford the area the same level of protection hence, the species have greater chances for survival against natural calamities and human intrusion.

The CWFR is a protected area by virtue of Proclamation No. 123 dated June 23, 1987. Penalties apply to those who commit prohibited acts including hunting, destroying, disturbing or mere possession of any plants or animals or products derived therefrom without permit from the Management Board.

Press Release: May 14, 2015

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CIMATU VOWS TO STRENGTHEN CENROs, ENFORCE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS

“I will strengthen the CENROs,” says Secretary Roy A. Cimatu in his message during his recent visit in Bicol. Secretary Cimatu vowed to strengthen the Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) being the frontline unit which delivers the services of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to the people.

According to Secretary Cimatu, he will empower the Forest Protection Officers to ensure their welfare and security. “Hindi tama na binabantayan ninyo ang mga puno, pero hindi ninyo mabantayan at maipagtanggol ang inyong mga sarili. We will train you. Pag-aaralin natin yan,” he said.

Citing his major thrusts for the environment, Secretary Cimatu emphasized clean air, clean water and solid waste management. He vowed to protect the environment by strictly and fully enforcing the laws. “We will do something for the environment, and I need all of you,” he stressed. He is optimistic that with the help of all DENR employees all environmental laws will be implemented to the fullest.

Meanwhile, Secretary Cimatu expressed his awe to Bicol Region being home to the world’s most perfect cone volcano and the world’s smallest commercial edible extant fish. He said that both Mayon Volcano and the Sinarapan or locally known as “Tabios” should be protected including all our natural resources. His orders for their protection were made explicitly to the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officers and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers where these two (2) wonders are found.

The Environment chief likewise warned employees about zero tolerance on corruption. “Do your work with honesty and integrity. Corrupt officials and employees will be punished. You don’t have a second chance with me,” the environment chief said. 

Photo Releases

DENR SECRETARY CIMATU PLANTS A PILI SEEDLING IN DENR BICOL. 

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