July 11, 2017 – The 18th Sangguniang Panlungsod, led by Vice Mayor Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles, was visited by representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region XII who gave an enlightening presentation on forest land use before the city council.
Forester Benjamin Alangca from the Conservation and Development Division of DENR Region XII presented the outputs of the three-day orientation and workshop on Forest Land Use Planning (FLUP) formulation and Geographic Information System (GIS) training conducted last April 26-28, attended by the regional office and the participating seven FLUP-recipient municipalities in the region and General Santos City.
The Forest Land Use Plan, as explained by Alangca, “is a transparent, participatory and iterative joint undertaking of the DENR and LGU.” he explained that the FLUP aims to assess how forest lands are allocated and managed, to ascertain the challenges and opportunities for improving forest management and restoring degraded areas, to implement tenure and management systems of “unallocated forest lands,” and to align investments to improve forest management and restore marginal forest lands.
Alangca also enlightened the council on key issues hounding forestry in Region 12: expanding agriculture in forest lands, dwindling natural forests, forest fires, lack of institutional collaboration, degrading water sources, and boundary conflicts and land claims. He also emphasized the importance of the inclusion of an FLUP in the creation of a Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
- Hezekiah Kit Sales Canlas/VMO