DENR 12 eyes completion of boundary survey by year-end

November 2, 2009 11:09 pm 

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Nov. 3 – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao is targeting to complete before year-end the assessment and delineation of the region’s forestland boundaries.

Forester Calil Bantuas, coordinator of DENR Region 12’s regional assessment and delineation team (RADT), said the ongoing forestland survey in the region’s four provinces and five cities has so far covered almost the entire 2,000 hectares of the area’s estimated forest boundaries.

He said the assessment and delineation survey is currently focused on the remaining 25 kilometers in Sultan Kudarat and 42 kilometers in North Cotabato that were covered by the region’s boundary areas.

“We’re pushing for the early completion of this survey so we can immediately lay down our protection and sustainable development strategies for the remaining resources in these areas,” he said.

Bantuas said they earlier dispatched at least seven teams in various parts of the region to fast track the conduct of the survey, which is a component of its forestland boundary assessment and delineation project.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

The region is bounded in the east by Davao del Sur of the Southern Mindanao region, in the north by the provinces of Bukidnon of the Northern Mindanao Region and Lanao del Sur of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and in the northwest side by Maguindanao of ARMM.

Bantuas said the forestland survey is mainly aimed at determining the region’s final forest line, which would be manually marked on the ground by concrete markers or “mojon.”

He said the survey also covers the assessment of the suitable land use for areas that will be traversed by the survey and endorse them for congressional legislation.

Bantuas said the implementation of the survey was based on DENR Administrative Order 2008-24, which specifically provided for a “comprehensive procedure to facilitate the conduct of assessment and delineation of boundaries between forestlands, national parks and agricultural lands.”

Raquil–Ali Lucman, DENR Region 12 executive director, said the forestland survey is very important for the region as it would serve as basis for the implementation of protection, conservation and development initiatives within the forestland boundaries.

He said it would define the areas covered by the region’s barangays, municipalities, cities and provinces as required for the allotment of the internal revenue shares of local government units.

“Forestland boundary assessment and delineation is a very sensitive task considering that some ground markers are no longer existing. This problem had led to encroachments on our forestlands and their conversion to non-forest uses such as agriculture, settlements and built-up areas,” Lucman said.(PNA) LDV/AVE

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