DENR overshoots greening target in Bicol by 12%

“In 2011, some 3.9 million tree seedlings have been planted in some 6,303.9 hectares (ha) of open and denuded forestland in Bicol, about 12 percent above the 5,584-ha target for 2011.”

DENR Regional Executive Director Joselin (RED) Marcus Fragada disclosed and based his report on the January 2, 2012 records of the Forest Management Service (FMS) on the agency’s National Greening Program (NGP) implementation. Camarines Sur leads with 2,102,578 trees seedlings planted in 3,005.98 ha, followed by Albay with 478,999 seedlings planted in 854.5 ha, Camarines Norte was third with 413,448 seedlings planted in 641.2 ha, Masbate has 357,305 seedlings in 714.5 ha, Catanduanes was fifth with 332,486 seedlings planted in 663.2 ha, and Sorsogon with 227,561 seedlings planted in 407.3 ha.

Based on the report, some 21,690 Bicolanos have already enlisted in the program and took part in planting the seedlings during the year. They represented a cross section of public and private volunteers from government agencies, schools, civic organization including the church, local government units, and business sectors.

“NGP accomplishment by DENR Bicol last year is really significant as all indicators point that we have surpassed our 2011 target despite the fact that NGP was implemented by 2nd quarter of 2011 as an impetus of the issuance of Executive Order 26 by President Aquino last February 24,” Director Fragada said. According to the RED, by Environment Sec. Ramon Paje’s pronouncement, the DENR intends to double the national target at 200,000 hectares for 2012.

Meanwhile, Sec. Paje reiterated NGP’s goal of posting a minimum survival rate of 80 percent for the seedlings by tapping science and sound upland practices and confining identified NGP planting sites only in areas where there are communities who will be tapped to maintain and ensure growth of planted seedlings into mature trees.

The NGP targets to plant 1.5 billion tree seedlings in 1.5 million hectares nationwide from 2011 to 2016.  Priority areas for planting include mangrove and protected areas, ancestral domain areas, civil and military areas, urban areas under the greening plan of LGUs, inactive and abandoned mine sites, and all other suitable lands for reforestation.

“This year, we will double the effort to have practically all Bicolanos do their share in planting ten trees each,” RED Fragada declared.

Press Release: January 2, 2012