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In Silago town, farmers take care of rainforests


Deep inside the rain forest of Silago in Southern Leyte, a people’s movement that aims to preserve a vast area that is rich in biodiversity is making its actions felt. Silago is a typical town in rural Philippines with a territory that stretches from beaches in the lowlands to upland forests. It is one of the project sites for a project called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), which aims to preserve forests and address the negative impact of climate change at the same time. At first, I did not have the slightest idea what carbon credits meant. But Marlyn Palua of Barangay Imelda told me that it is a gauge for measuring the effects of climate change. A climate-resilient country enjoying sustainable development – this is the vision of the Philippine Strategy on Climate Change Adaptation 2010-2022. Marlyn Palua is the president of the Katipunan Imelda Catmon Community Forestry Association (KICCFAI). Founded in Dec. 5, 1996, the group consists mostly of farmers and forest hands that are advocating the protection and preservation of the remaining rain forests of the province. They are implementing a Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) agreement covering 1,617.29 hectares within the municipality’s 21,995-hectare land area. Aside from planting trees, the farmer-members maintain a rattan nursery to supplement the growing demands for the raw material, which is widely used by furniture makers. In 2010, the KICCFAI received support from the German agency Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) for agro-forestry and eco-tourism projects in the area. (See slide show below)
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The local government of Silago headed by Mayor Manuel Labrador Jr. is very supportive of the KICCFA community-base forest management projects, especially the reforestation of denuded areas in Mt. Naculod. Labrador, a staunch environmentalist, assured the members that he will not tolerate the illegal cutting of trees in the rainforests of his town. - YA, GMA News RELATED STORIES:
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Tags: cbfm, redd, forests, leyte
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