Forester Success Stories:
Just yesterday (April 5, 2015) the Philippine Star featured articles describing the success of the National Greening Program, a reforestation effort of the government under the helm of Secretary Ramon JP Paje. The Philippine star publications entitled “he’s got green and his mind” and “summertime” narrated how our department made a remarkable accomplishments on this regards. hence, may i request to include the following links of articles published by Philippine Star for the information page of SFFI webpage for the information of our readers especially foresters. Thank you very much.
“He’s got green on his mind” – by By Ida Anita Q. del Mundo (The Philippine Star)
“Summertime” – NOTES FROM THE EDITOR By Singkit (The Philippine Star)
Forester Henry A. Adornado
CALLING ALL FORESTERS!
The Society of Filipino Foresters, Inc. (SFFI) whose members have assembled at Plaza del Norte Convention Center, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines during its 67th Anniversary National Convention on 09-11 November 2015, hereby issues the following Laoag Declaration.
WHEREAS, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted on September 25,
2015 the resolution entitled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” that contains 17 goals and 169 targets and which seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals;
WHEREAS, Goal 15 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development seeks to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss and includes the following targets:
15.1. By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements.
15.2. By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally.
15.3. By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.
15.4. By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development.
15.5. Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.
15.6. Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed.
15.7. Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products.
15.8. By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species.
15.9. By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts:
15.9.a. Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems.
15.9.b Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation.
15.9.c Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities
WHEREAS, the government should adhere to the new International Arrangement on Forests, the International Tropical Timber Agreement on SFM, the UN Declaration on Forests, Climate Change Conference and other agreements we are signatory and committed;
WHEREAS, the state of the Philippine forest resources has reached a low point, whereby only 6.84 million hectares of forests, or 23% of the country’s land area, have remained, of which only 1.93 million hectares are closed-canopy forests while the average annual deforestation rate from 2003-2010 is 46,900 hectares.
WHEREAS, the remaining natural forests must be managed for sustainable development and the ecosystems services they provide, foremost of which are the protection of communities from natural disasters, such as flooding, and the conservation of biodiversity;
WHEREAS, the large part of the deforested forestlands must be developed into forest plantations or agroforestry to help reduce poverty and provide food security, while the remaining part must be restored to natural forests by natural regeneration to help enhance biodiversity and mitigate climate change;
WHEREAS, through the National Greening Program, the country has gained some success which needs further support for continuity and sustainability in support of the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development;
WHEREAS, the SFFI strongly believes that sustainably managed forests play a vital role in national development and that production forests be used to support all wood-based and non-timber forest industries of the country;
WHEREAS, the SFFI supports Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) as the overarching strategy and policy thrust to derive multiple benefits from forest resources for present and future generations of Filipinos;
WHEREAS, the SFFI considers the following pillars of Sustainable Forest Management:
- Credible and updated forest data and maps;
- Simplified and sensible tenure system on public lands;
- Finance and investment incentives in forestry;
- Forestry stakeholders and their land use rights;
- Forest service supporting the stakeholders in SFM; and
- Forest certification as a market and regulatory mechanism
WHEREAS, the SFFI recognizes the important roles of various stakeholders such as local communities, Indigenous Peoples and the forest industry, among others, in the development, sustainable management, and protection of forest resources, and that enabling mechanisms must be put in place so that stakeholders are able to play their roles and benefit immensely from it;
WHEREAS, the members of the SFFI possessing the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes and values have shown their commitment to become more responsible and dedicated professionals for sustainable and people-oriented forest management and which have been strengthened by the newly-enacted Republic Act No. 10690 otherwise known as The Forestry Profession Act.
NOW, THEREFORE, we, the members of the SFFI declare full support to the sustainable management of the country’s forest resources and request both the executive and legislative branches of the government to recognize the aforenoted pillars of Sustainable Forest Management and implement the following specific actions:
- Provision of funds and other resources for the updating and improving the accuracy and reliability of the country’s forestry statistics, using the latest technology in mapping and resource inventory;
- Revision of the current tenurial system and establish appropriate system, such as Land and Environmental Resources Management System;
- Enactment of the Sustainable Forest Management, Permanent Forest Limits and Forestry Investments bills;
- Provision of incentives to the forest and forestry industry sector;
- Implementation of the provisions of RA 10690;
- Recognition and protection of the land-use rights of stakeholders;
- Recognition of the full transferability of land-use rights instruments;
- Promotion of public, private, and community partnerships; and
- Operationalization of the national and international Forest Certification Systems.
PROVIDED FURTHER THAT, the SFFI shall monitor, evaluate and report on the progress of the implementation of the actions in this Declaration.
Done and unanimously approved by the General Assembly of the Society of Filipino Foresters, Inc. this 10th day of November 2015 at the Plaza del Norte Convention Center, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines.
HENRY N. VALEROS
President, Cordillera Regional Council
WILDREDO C. MALVAR
President, Cagayan Valley Regional Council
ARTHUR C. SALAZAR
President, Central Luzon Regional Council
ALBERTINO Z. HOFILENA
President, CALABARZON Regional Council
ANICETO S. MANUBEN
President, MIMAROPA Regional Council
JOAQUIN ED A. GUERRERO
President, Bicol Regional Council
LIVINO B. DURAN
President, Western Visayas Regional Council
EDUARDO M. INTING
President, Central Visayas Regional Council
ANGELITO B. VILLANUEVA
President, Eastern Visayas Regional Council
ARLEIGH J. ADORABLE
President, Zamboanga Peninsula Regional Council
DANILO C. CACANINDIN
President, Northern Mindanao Regional Council
ROMEO M. BASADA
President, Southern Mindanao Regional Council
NOEL V. DUNGCA
President, SOCSKSARGEN Regional Council
SIXTO C. BADUA
CARAGA Regional Council
GUIAMEL D. ABDUL
President, Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao
JOEY E. AUSTRIA
President, National Capital Regional Council & Vice President, National Council
TOMMY T. VALDEZ
President, Ilocos Regional Council & President, National Council
Legend: * The Committee is composed of For Manuel L. Bonita, For. Rex Victor O. Cruz, For. Juan M. Pulhin, For. Ricardo L. Calderon, For. Portia G. Lapitan, For Renato A. de Rueda, For. Tommy T. Valdez, For. Joey E. Austria, For. Felixberto P. Lansigan, For. Isabelita V. Austria, For. Charles P. Castro, For. Emmanuel A. Umali, and For. Emmanuel M. Lleva.