TACLOBAN CITY- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here in the region is gearing up for the global celebration of International Day of the Forests (IDF) on Thursday (March 21).
DENR-8 Regional Executive Director Crizaldy Barcelo said that the department prioritizes forest protection and end of illegal logging operations this year.
Thus, DENR’s forest protection activities all relate to the objectives of the celebration of IDF which is to raise awareness on how sustainability managed forests contributes to the environment Barcelo added.
Barcelo disclosed that forest secure the soil and water resources, mitigate climate change, provide habitat for animals and livelihood for human; thus, its relevance could not be underestimated.
To enhance public awareness and strengthen forest protection in Eastern Visayas, Barcelo ordered DENR field officials to conduct massive information, education and communication campaigns, strictly monitor timber poaching activities in their areas of responsibility, and closely coordinate with apprehending authorities for the conduct of anti-timber poaching operations.
Their office has also intensify in the implementation of a biodiversity protection system using advanced technology called LAWIN Protection System.
Using mobile application called cyber tracker, users and patrollers from DENR report real-time environmental abuses from the site.
This system is used in identifying threats within forest conservation areas such as cutting, perennial farming, forest fires, and pests and diseases, as well as in recommending immediate action to identified threats during patrol works.
Barcelo vowed to run after individuals and groups destroying the forest of region 8.
“In instances of apprehension and confiscation of forest products, it is regrettable that trees were already cut, but the department is sending a strong message to the culprits that their action will not be left unpunished” the DENR regional executive director said.
Sanctions will be imposed to violators of forestry laws as a way of emphasizing to the public that forests are important.