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Monday, March 4, 2024

Gov’t backs planting of bamboo and native trees

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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is bolstering the production of native tree and bamboo species through the establishment of new forest nurseries and the restoration of existing ones across DENR field offices nationwide.

A DENR order also sets guidelines for the establishment and maintenance of forest nurseries.

The agency directive aims to guarantee the availability of free seedlings of native species for individuals, organizations, government agencies, NGOs, and tree-growing advocates. Seedlings will be distributed at no cost to requesting parties in accordance with the order.

The DENR order mandates existing and fully operational nurseries (EFONs) to produce a minimum of 15,000 seedlings of indigenous and endemic tree species annually. If EFONs are cultivating both native tree seedlings and bamboo culms, the minimum annual target is set at 10,000 seedlings (75 percent native trees and 25 percent bamboo). Newly-established and rehabilitated nurseries are exempt from the initial year’s seedling production targets. In subsequent years, they would be expected to produce a minimum of 15,000 seedlings annually.DENR News

Further, a 10 percent minimum seedling requirement is established for ornamental and indigenous flowering tree species, while the annual minimum seedling requirement for ornamental plants in DENR-NCR is increased to 30 percent. DENR News

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In cases where space is limited, seedling nurseries can be constructed in “strategic areas” outside DENR premises through partnerships and memorandums of agreement with local government units, academics, community groups and non-government organizations.

The DENR’s directive underscores its commitment to biodiversity promotion and support for the local bamboo industry by cultivating native planting materials and species. It noted the importance of producing environmentally and economically valuable bamboo species to plant resource productivity, accessibility in the Philippines and the creation of urban green spaces.

The order covers all 142 DENR-Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs), DENR-National Capital Region (NCR), and 17 of the 76 DENR Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs) designated as “Implementing PENROs” (IPs) due to the absence of CENROs in their respective jurisdictions.

DENR Assistant Secretary and Forest Management Bureau Director Arleigh Adorable stressed the advantages of native trees, which are well-suited to local environmental conditions. He noted that native trees play a crucial role in providing ecosystem services, supporting local wildlife, and establishing green spaces in urban areas where a significant portion of the country’s population resides.

Some of the popular native tree species include Narra (Pterocarpus indicus), Guijo (Shorea guiso), Kamagong (Diospyrus discolor), Red Lauan (Shorea negrosensis), White Lauan (Shorea contorta), Tindalo (Afzelia rhomboidea), Yakal (Shorea astylosa), and Molave (Vitex parviflora).  DENR News

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