The Agency Compliance Team-Technical Working Group (ACTeam-TWG) and Composite Team (CT) of the Provincial Government of Nueva Vizcaya (PGNV) jointly conducted on January 26-28, 2022 actual delineation surveys of the boundaries of the plantation areas and those spaces occupied by forest dwellers within the 412.04 hectares Lower Magat Ecotourism (LMET) Park in Diadi.
This activity is also an offshoot of the Community Education and Awareness Campaign (CEPA) held last December 16 at the LMET Park’s Conference Center which was attended by around 100 stakeholders. The CEPA, a requisite Pre-Scoping Process for the application of Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and other permits for the LMET Park, is part of the Information and Education Campaign (IEC) of the PGNV that is aimed at providing information among the different stakeholders about the project, its proponents, and the ongoing scoping processes.
Prior to the conduct of the actual survey, Forester Henry P. Patricio, Executive Assistant to the Governor for the LMET Park Project and Head of the Nueva Vizcaya Watershed Management Committee-Operations and Coordination Unit (NVWMC-OCU), oriented the members of the ACTeam-TWG and CT and different stakeholders, using a map showing pre-identified areas within the LMET Park that are actually inhabited or having some human interventions, such as farming.
Following the fieldwork activity was a session among members of the joint team, along with key officers and other focal persons, for the purpose of coming up with some recommendations based on unfolding developments and updates on the project’s Initial Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Proposal, and the results of the said delineation survey.
Forester Fernando S. Agraan, EMS I of PENARO/NVWMC-OCU presented the different parameters for consideration and implementation, as well as some suggested protection measures for the LMET Park including the establishment of a 10-kilometer perimeter fence that will enclose the whole Park to prevent further encroachments.
For. Agraan said that the delineation survey revealed the presence of around 100 occupants within the Park. The ACTeam-TWG and CT also reported their discovery of certain activities therein, such as “kaingin”, girdling and cutting of Teak and other tree species, and expansions of agricultural areas, that need appropriate action.
During the ensuing open forum, the forest occupants and officials of barangays San Luis, Bugnay, and Villa Aurora asked for a delineation and segregation from the LMET Park’s total land area those that they are presently occupying and cultivating.
For. Patricio clarified that the results of the delineation survey, along with the recommendations of the ACTeam-TWG and CT, will be presented to the Lower Magat Forest Reserve-Steering Committee (LMFR-SC) for its consideration and approval. An incident report thereon will also be submitted to the DENR, PENARO, and MENRO for their appropriate action. # mba.