Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Frank Cimatu signs the Memorandum of Understanding with officers from the Asian Forestry Cooperation Organization.
THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Asian Forestry Cooperation Organization (Afoco) for the production of value-added timber products from the forests of Negros Oriental and Agusan del Sur, which will generate jobs for grassroots communities.
A vertical integration project for wood processing will produce value-added wood products, using raw materials harvested from community forest management areas managed by grassroots organizations in Negros Oriental and Agusan del Sur.
Under the MoU, the project will be co-financed with AFoCO for $1.118 million.
DENR will implement the project through the Forest Management Office and DENR Field Offices in Regions 7 and 13.
Unlike now where only logs are produced from these CBFM areas, the vertical integration project is seen as producing semi-finished or value-added products (such as building materials or arts and crafts). ‘Arts and crafts). Revenues are expected to improve as product values increase.
DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the project with AFoCO will be the start of a sustainable forest management project that will create a new industry in the two provinces.
He underlined the economic importance that the raw materials will come from CBFM, and grassroots POs will benefit.
“The Philippines needs five million cubic meters of wood or lumber per year. Only one million comes from the Philippines. The rest is imported. Those from the Philippines come from private forests, not from CBFM,” he said. said Cimatu during the signing of the memorandum of understanding.
To be implemented over five years until 2026, Cimatu was pleased that after a two-year delay due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the project can now start.
AFoCO, an organization based in South Korea, is a leader in reforestation.