The Cordillera Region has about 43 percent forest cover, and given current trends, this will increase by 2016.

This was revealed by DENR-CAR Regional Director Ralph C. Pablo during the Kapihan held on June 24, 2015 at the DENR Compound in Pacdal, Baguio City.

According to the Director, the Department’s aggressive reforestation campaigns, such as the National Greening Program (NGP), the Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Project (INREMP), and the Forestland Management Project (FMP), will contribute to the projected improvement.

He said that through the NGP alone, 69,957 hectares, or roughly 60 percent of 115,531 hectares targeted in CAR, have been planted during the period 2011 to 2014. Regreening the remaining area will be completed by 2016.

The DENR’s campaign against encroachment into the CAR’s forestlands, which comprise about 85 percent of the region’s land area, will likewise be intensified even as it recognizes the need to strike a balance between development and environmental protection. More forest protection officers will be hired to watch over the region’s watersheds and an even closer and more effective coordination with the local government units is being worked out.

Through these efforts, Director Pablo believes that the region will move towards a greener Cordillera Region, which is recognized as the watershed cradle of the North.

The Kapihan kicks-off the series of activities lined-up by the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC CAR) to celebrate the Cordillera Administrative Region’s 28th Founding Anniversary. With the theme “Conserving the Environment Towards a Greener Cordillera”, this year’s celebration is being coordinated by the RDC’s Sectoral Committee on Watershed and Environmental Management chaired by DENR-CAR Director Pablo. The Province of Apayao co-hosts the festivities.