By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has given recognition to 15 people’s organizations (POs) that have successfully implemented the government’s Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) program.
Through the DENR’s Forest Management Bureau (FMB), the 15 POs from upland and coastal communities across the country were given recognition during the Third CBFM Practitioners’ Congress held at the Manila Hotel on Tuesday.
FMB Director Nonito Tamayo said the event recognized the efforts of the POs in propagating the best practices in the area of livelihood and enterprise development while posting a significant increase in the forest cover within CBFM areas.
The congress is part of the FMB’s efforts to further improve the implementation of the CBFM as participants will once again consult each other to update the program guidelines.
The lessons and experiences by the 15 POs will also be used to fine tune the CBFM framework to be implemented in the next 25 years.
The FMB has been organizing the Congress every three years since 2012 primarily to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of the program on a nationwide scale.
It also seeks to address the peculiarities of each CBFM project at the community level, giving focus on the underlying issues that enhance or constrain community participation.
This year’s theme, “CBFM: Para sa Kalikasan at Kabuhayan,” puts emphasis on the program’s socioeconomic and environmental objectives, as well as the DENR’s current advocacy campaign slogan “Tayo ang Kalikasan.”
The event was attended by about 500 delegates, including representatives from 1,884 POs that have been awarded with 25-year CBFM contracts, local government units, NGOs, and the academe.
FMB describes CBFM as a production sharing agreement between the DENR and POs for a period of 25 years renewable for another 25 years and should provide tenurial security and incentives to develop, utilize and manage specific portions of forest lands.