MAASIN CITY– For them to be able to save and protect their forests while making it still productive, some residents of Tomas Oppus, Southern Leyte are set to be taught on the knowledge and skills in forest land protection, by the personnel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Community Environment and Natural Resources Office Maasin (DENR-CENRO Maasin).
The DENR Office prioritized Tomas Oppus following the result of a recent assessment which revealed destruction in some parts of the forest land, due to lack of understanding on proper forest land use, mangrove beach forest and development project focal person Lydia Montabon said.
She added that a forum was held which was participated in by several stakeholders.
There, the audience was informed that the destruction is purportedly caused by indiscriminate “slash and burn” practices in preparing the land for farming.
However, hundreds of bats flee from the caves due the smoke and this is one, among the malpractices, that are harmful to the environment particularly those along the forest land area.
”It should be put in mind that the threatened forest area is the source of supply of water for the water shed areas in the municipality,” Montabon added.
Likewise, the forest land use plan aims to establish proper delineation of forest land use in the said town.
The plan would help the local residents identify areas where they can engage in agricultural production while some areas should be left for the reforestation program led by the DENR, Montabon further said.
The forest plan will guide people in identifying areas for agroforestry where they can plant fruit trees, sweet potatoes (camote), corn, pineapple, among others, while a specific and designated area for firewood will be defined and one area for Assisted Natural Reforestation (ANR) where hard wood like Narra, Mahogany, among others could be planted.
“CENRO Maasin is hopeful that the establishment of forest land use plan in Tomas Oppus covering the mountain down to coastal areas, will be adapted by local residents and stakeholders,” Montabon added.
(PIA8-Southern Leyte)