Enhanced NGP plans out

BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Administrative Region has suc-cessful complied with the National Greening Program (NGP), targeting a high survival rates due to two-year maintenance practices in planted areas.

This is according to Department of Environment and Natural Re-sources (DENR) CAR regional director Ralph Pablo in the Ka-pihan on Environmental Concerns Tuesday at their new office along Gibraltar rd.

At least 40% of the CAR forest cover were planted from 2011 to 2016, Pablo said. As the CAR is rich in natural wealth, sustainable and equitable plans for the protection and preser-vation of the natural environment should be a priority, he further said.

The CAR ranks third to Caraga region and Cagayan Valley plant-ed in consonance to the NGP.

As to the NGP roadmap there are 100,000 hectares with some un-plantable areas, needing more than a billion seedlings. Re-planting is being done to insure a hundred percent survival rate, Pablo added.

Project partner Watershed and Water Resources and Research Center (WWRRC) represented by Minda Odsey in the forum said quality seedlings are being produced for the project. Experi-mental planting sites are in some state universities, with partner peoples’ organizations helping out, she added. Success stories of the NGP are being told by involved individuals, or-ganizations and agencies, it was known.

The NGP would have a 12-year expansion from 2016-2028, RD Pablo said, with agro-forestry as main flagship program in the CAR. Aside from environmental greening, fruit-bearing and cash crop shall be planted in a targeted 100,000 hectares in the uplands. The project, Enhanced NGP (ENGP) would also help in the economic way of the community as well as recharge the wa-ter aquifers, Pablo also said.

According to DENR-CAR Assistant Regional Director for technical services Augusto Lagon, continuous as well as re-placement planting is being done to ensure survival, which as of November 30 is pegged at 83% to 85%. The rate is being val-idated,he added.

ENGP shall be maintained through community accountability and participation, management, technical and financial assistance from various organizations, with academe and religious sectors as support. For these programs, indigenous practices should be integrated and actively practiced in environmental protection for sustainability, it was agreed.

Accordingly, the Chico river and Mt. Pulag in Kabayan, Benguet are seen as sustainable development areas. /Julie G. Fianza#


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