This refers to J.H. Primavera’s letter (Inquirer, 2/14/13) recommending indigenous species over mahogany and other introduced species for watershed rehabilitation and biodiversity conservation.
Primavera’s concern is commendable and we would like to assure him and fellow environmentalists that this is in fact among the guidelines issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to its field offices—that is, the planting of indigenous species in watershed areas and protected zones in the implementation of the National Greening Program (NGP).
In fact, the DENR has developed an NGP Commodity Roadmap giving equal emphasis to the planting of timber, fuelwood, cacao, coffee, rubber, bamboo, rattan, mangroves and indigenous species in areas considered as protected areas and protection zones like the watershed. We have consistently followed the NGP framework of species-site-market matching for production forests and indigenous-native-endemic species for protected areas and protection zones.
We would like to thank Primavera and the Inquirer for allowing us to share information on how the DENR is putting premium on greening the country. For further information, you may visit our website at ngp.denr.gov.ph.
—RICARDO L. CALDERON, Ceso III,
director, Forest Management Bureau,
national coordinator, National Greening Program