By JESSEL S. BASANTA
PILI, Camarines Sur—It is “all systems go” for the launching on March 11 here of the National Convergence Initiative (NCI), an advocacy which seeks to get active support from various stakeholders in setting up sustainable forest management models.
“This convergence initiative will be implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to further strengthen community development through sustainable forest management,” DENR Regional Executive Director Joselin Marcus Fragada said.
Fragada stressed that this convergence initiative is geared to reduce poverty, promote security and arrest the impact of climate change.
He emphasized the need to pursue a paradigm shift to ensure sustainable development and livelihood in the countryside specifically in upland areas as further stipulated under the joint Memorandum Circular on policy implementation framework for the enhanced national convergence initiative among DENR, DA and DAR.
Fragada said the strategy focuses on interventions for small fisherfolks and marginalized upland dwellers, mostly covered by tenurial instruments of DENR and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.
“The signing of the memorandum of agreement by the DENR, DA, DAR, Department of Interior and Local Government and local governments will signal the start of NCI in Bicol region” he added.
Naga City Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) Imelda Baltazar confirmed that Environment Sec. Ramon Paje, Agriculture Sec. Proceso Alcala and Agrarian Reform Sec. Virgilio de los Reyes are the signatories of the MOA, with other local chief executives, led by Camarines Sur Gov. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr.
“Secretary Paje will also be distributing 300,000 seedlings, free patents, and geohazard maps to the recipients from nine model sites: Pili, Ocampo, Bula, Tigaon, Baao, Presentacion, Caramoan, Lagonoy and Garchitorena,” Baltazar said.
Aside from the launching of the NCI in Camarines Sur, Sorsoson will be holding a similar endeavor on March 23 at three priority areas, in Sorsogon City, Castilla and Casiguran.