Philippines: Forest protection stakeholders gather behind Isabela Governor

Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca led some 200 forest protection stakeholders
from various areas in Luzon met with Environment Secretary Lito
Atienza on Wednesday to air their sentiments and propositions to
further strengthen the fight against timber poaching. The group
included representatives of local governments, law enforcement
agencies, indigenous peoples groups, nongovernment organizations, and
the church from different provinces situated along the Sierra Madre
bio-diversity corridor.

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The corridor is considered one of the last bastions of lush forests in
the country. It spans the province of Cagayan in northeastern Luzon
down to Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Quezon, Bulacan,
and Rizal. In her report, Padaca said even if efforts to curb timber
poaching had resulted in the seizure of millions of pesos worth of
illegally cut lumber and the arrest of several suspects involved in
the outlawed activity, their struggle could have been more successful
if they had been financially and technically supported by the national

“I formed an anti-illegal logging task force back in 2004, but members of the task force are largely untrained, ill-equipped, and working with nary a fund from the national government to sustain their struggle to protect our forests,” the governor said. Nine of Isabela’s 36 towns are located within the Sierra Madre Mountains and most of their residents eke out a living either as hacheros (chainsaw operators) or bugadores (log transporters). “It pains me to see that many of these people, even in other provinces, lose their source of  income,” she said. “That’s why I am asking Secretary Atienza to help
us create livelihood programs and emergency employment to help
alleviate the lives of those directly affected by the campaign against
illegal logging.”

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Comments (1)

meSeptember 21st, 2009 at 3:31 am

She is a moron

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