Illegal logging in Buguias averted
Through the Joint Operation of DENR-CENRO-Buguias, the PNP - Camp Molintas, the PNP - Buguias and the LGU - Buguias, an illegal logging operation at Sitio Polis, Brgy. Amgaleyguey, Buguias, Benguet was averted early morning of January 13, 2017 where a more or less 3,000 bd. ft. of illegally sawn pine lumbers and slabs were seized.
The team from CENRO Buguias headed by the CENR Officer Rabindranath P. Quilala and Forest Protection Officer Benny M. Pesnek with the team from the Benguet Provincial Public Safety Command (PPSC) based at Camp Molintas, Bangao, Buguias headed by SPO 1 Joseph Miller Fakat and PNP Buguias proceeded to the target areas on the said date to suppress the on-going illegal logging operation.
The government operatives formed two (2) groups to cover the two (2) different sites where illegal logging activities are being undertaken. The team discovered the illegally sawn lumbers and slabs in the areas abandoned by the culprits, which were initially scaled to be more or less 3,000 board feet with a market value of about P120,000.00. There were information gathered that the illegal loggers are not from the said area but are only being hired by the property owners and claimants to convert it to vegetable farms.
The said contrabands were manually hauled from the logging sites to the identified staging areas by the government operatives, which eventually were transported to CENRO-Buguias Office in Taneg, Mankayan, Benguet through the assistance of PPSC Truck and the 4WD Dump Truck of LGU - Buguias General Services Office (GSO).
Mayor Ruben Tindaan of the Municipality of Buguias and Co-Chairman of the LGU-Buguias Municipal Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (MAILTF) reminded all Barangay Captains of their mandate pursuant to Executive Order No 23 to actively be involved in the fight to stop illegal logging in the area. In fact, Buguias is known to be the Benguet Vegetable Capital in the North whose main industry is vegetable farming.
Meanwhile, CENR Officer Quilala is still very hopeful that the Sustainable Pine Forests Ecosystems Management Program that his office adopted last year will not be in vain. “There is a need to continually educate our people on the benefits of maintaining a healthy and balance ecology within the remaining pine forests in Northern Benguet”, Quilala stated.
Quilala reiterated that CENRO - Buguias have been campaigning for the revival of the pine resin tapping industry as a source of livelihood for the people of Benguet. The collection of pine needles and pine forest wastes as fuel wood for biomass energy development and the revitalization of agro-forestry approach for forest conservation and development area are also part of the said program. The challenge to convert pine forests into sustainable eco-tourism sites and the continuous strengthened forest protection activities within the jurisdiction of CENRO-Buguias are among their top priorities.|VSito, C. Buguias
Annual Asian waterbird census held
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR participated in the recent conduct of Asian waterbird census through consecutive bird watch at Magat-Maris Dam in Alfonso Lista, Ifugao and at Talaca, Tabuk, Kalinga ON January 12-13 and January 17-18, respectively.
Ecosystems Management Specialist II Linda Claire Pawid said the waterbird census primarily aims to “monitor the existence of various waterbird species especially the endangered ones”.
This year, an estimate of 20,000 egrets were observed in Kalinga while they were about 4,000 egrets; 2,000 ducks and more than 400 herons observed in Ifugao.
The waterbirds which passed the region were mostly from China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Australia.
According to Senior Ecosystems Management Specialist Trinivic Silang, November to February is the season of migratory birds wherein the month of January is the peak.
The results of the census are eyed to serve as basis for waterbird population and the changes in waterbird area distribution.
In the Cordilleras, the DENR-CAR was joined by the local government units of Alfonso Lista and Tabuk; officials from barangay Namnama; Department of Tourism-CAR; Philippine National Police-Alfonso Lista; National Irrigation Authority; National Power Corporation; SN Aboitiz; Kalinga State University; Ifugao State University-Alfonso Lista Campus; Benguet State University; Baguio-Benguet Wildbird Photographers Club; Wildlife Enforcement Officers of Alfonso Lista.
Prior to the bird count and monitoring, the participants had an orientation about the activity. The orientation was conducted not only for the participants to know how the waterbird census is done but for them to have increased awareness and knowledge about waterbird species, wetlands and their importance at the local, national and international level.
The Asian waterbird census is an annual activity conducted across Asia and Australasia wherein government agencies, local government units and organizations dedicated to wildlife visit wetlands in their areas and count waterbirds.
The activity is part of the global waterbird programme called the International Waterbird Census led by Wetlands International.
Apart from the Asian waterbird census, the DENR-CAR also participated in the International Black-faced Spoonbill census on January 1-4. The objective was to monitor sightings of the endangered species. Unfortunately, such was not observed in the region. |GJNF