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DENR 8 intensifies forest protection efforts

April 6, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  “We will not leave any stone unturned and we will unite our forces to combat the timber poachers and other forest law violators in the region.  These were the stern words of Regional Executive Director Primitivo C. Galinato, Jr. before all the Forest Rangers of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Region 8.

RED Galinato addressing the Forest Officers in Region 8 to intensify their efforts in combating illegal logging activities.

The first in the history of the DENR 8’s forest management, RED Galinato recently called on the 121 Forest Protection Officers in the region to a one day summit on forest protection and law enforcement at a restaurant in Sagkahan, Tacloban City.  The summit came in the heels of various reports and complaints reaching the DENR to control reported illegal logging activities going on in some parts of the region.

Said summit provides an avenue for the exchange of experiences and strategies in forest protection which worked well in an area worth replicating in other areas specially those identified as hot spots for illegal logging.  During the summit, the forest rangers’ collective strengths in enforcing forestry laws and regulation were also assessed, their operational problems and needs were collated for DENR management to address.

Regional Technical Director Felipe S. Calub of the Forest Management Service committed that all concerns gathered from the forest rangers during the summit will be considered in the regional forest protection plan which shall address the problem confronting forest  management in region 8.

RED Galinato, upon his assumption as the DENR Regional Chief on November 10, 2009, vowed to strengthen forest protection and law enforcement in his management direction, “from the ridges to the reefs”. This means that a well protected forest will result to well managed lowland and coastal areas.  Forest is the mother of all ecosystems.  If the forest is destroyed all the other ecosystems will be adversely affected, he said.

Galinato expressed that forest conservation is a very tough job.  It needs the cooperation of every citizen.  Strengthening forest protection and natural resources conservation has to start from within the Department specifically through the forest rangers.  They have to be organized and capacitated in terms of logistical support, equipments and enhancement of their knowledge on law enforcement.

However, we also need the support of other partners of the DENR like the military, police, other law enforcement agencies as well as the entire citizenry, in combating the illegal activities in the forests.  We shall also take a look at the operation of the lumber dealers in the region because some of them are only used as front in the illegal transport of forest products.

The efforts on environmental protection and natural resources conservation are all directed to address the clamor of various sectors to halt all illegal activities in the forests.  “All illegal activities must be stopped.  Instead, we should all plant trees in order to sustainably address our lumber needs in the future.  Trees are renewable resources.  Plant trees so that we can have something to be harvested tomorrow.  Maintaining an adequate forest cover can also help in solving the problem of global warming and climate change,” Galinato quipped.