MANILA, Philippines – Environment Secretary Horacio Ramos yesterday called for meaningful multi-sectoral participation in forest management, which will enable the country to achieve self-sufficiency in its forest product requirements.
He also called on the alumni of the University of the Philippines College of Forestry and Natural Resources (UPLB-CFNR) in Los Baños, Laguna to help in developing local government units and future foresters in improving the current capacities and systems in forest management.
“The call for meaningful multi-sectoral participation and the recognition of the important role of local government units, communities and civil society organizations in the different phases of forest management is urgent,” Ramos said during the recent celebration of the 100th Foundation Anniversary of the UPLB-CFNR where he was keynote speaker.
He said the professional expertise of foresters is highly needed in forestry planning and in the implementation, monitoring, assessment, reporting, and knowledge management.
He cited as an example a current collaboration between his agency and the professors and graduates of UPLB-CFNR in the formulation of the National Strategy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).
Citing the important role of forests and forestry in the country’s economy, social well-being and environment, Ramos has committed to strengthen the agency’s partnership with various stakeholders, and endeavor to institute policy reforms, particularly to encourage investments in forestry, promote science-based sustainable forest management strategies and good governance.
Ramos also expressed optimism that with stakeholders’ participation in forest management, the current 7.2 million hectares of forest cover will continue to be further enhanced to not only achieve self sufficiency in forest product requirements but also in reducing the impact brought about by climate change. –Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star)