BONTOC, Mountain Province – The implementation of the P154.13 Million Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Project (INREMP), a special project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), has been reported to be encountering concerns that may hamper the smooth implementation of the 7-year project.
This was learned during the press conference hosted by the provincial office of the agency here last June 19, 2015 in a bid to disseminate programs and accomplishments to the widest possible reach through the media.
According to Octavio Cuanso, OIC Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer, the main concern in the province is the issue on the non-tenurial areas of coverage. The project requires the project to be implemented in areas with tenurial documents, maybe titles, in the name of the beneficiaries.
Of the total 112 barangays in its coverage, 33 barangays has tenurial instruments and shall benefit from the project. The agency is currently conducting social preparations, community consultations, and coordination with other agencies for possible tenurial qualifications of other barangays.
In a duration estimate made during the conference, it is really a concern to comply with all the requirements and justifications for the implementation of the project to the covered areas.
“We are worried for the project areas that have no tenurial instruments”, said Cuanso further intimating their office is looking into the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claims (CADC) or Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADT) of some areas to qualify for the special project coverage.
One option to be addressed to, according to Cuanso, is to request the central office to allow recognized indigenous systems, such as the batangan, etc, to satisfy the tenurial requirements.
The INREMP Project will address unsustainable watershed management in four priority river basins, including Chico River, with particular focus on indigenous peoples and resource-poor communities to reduce and reverse degradation of watersheds and associated environment services caused by forest denudation and unsustainable farming practices. It also aims to provide incentives to local communities, local government units, and DENR for improving natural resource management by generating sufficient and tangible economic benefits.
The ultimate objective is to improve the quality of life of rural communities in the Upper River Basins by sustainably managing natural resources with stakeholder participation and ensuring that local institutions will effectively govern river basin resources as an enterprise that generates revenue for conservation and livelihood.
At the end of the 7-year period ending in December 2020, it is expected that poverty incidence in the Upper River Basin will be decreased by 25% in year 2017, forest cover will be increased to 846,000 hectares in 2025, rural household incomes will be increased by 30% or Php78,000/annum, carbon dioxide emissions from land-use/ forest activities will be reduced by 50% in 2017, erosion rate in coverage areas will be reduced by 18%.
Pressed for comments on how to address the concerns on tenurial qualification, Cuanso said that their office will find ways and means to qualify the areas in the province covered by the project in coordination with other tenurial issuing agencies, like the NCIP.
“We will work for the justification of the implementation of the project in all the coverage areas”, said Cuanso.