TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for Region 2 is urging the public to plant more trees for fuel rather than cut those already growing and existing in the forests.
Benjamin Tumaliuan, DENR 2 regional director, said he is not saying that illegal logging in the region is becoming rampant due to the use of wood for fuel purposes.
“The problem on illegal logging in the forest zone has been declining since the strict implementation of the President’s order to ban cutting of forest trees despite ocassional reports of cutting activities,” Tumaliuan said.
He explained that the Cagayan Valley region has growing industries that are using wood as fuel and many households are likewise still dependent on firewood.
“This is the reason why we need to look for interventions along these concerns so that cutting of forest trees for fuel can be avoided and eventually stopped,” Tumaliuan said.
He also explained further that with the National Greening Program (NGP) being seriously implemented in the region, fuel wood species such as Kakawate, Ipil-Ipil and other firewood sources have been continually planted.
Foresters in the region said Kakawate tree called Mexican Lilac (Glinicidia sepium) and locally known as Madre de Kakaw can grow up to 10 to 12 meters high while Ipil-Ipil is a fast-growing tropical tree called Leucaena leucocephala of the legume family, also a good source of fertilizer, animal feed and timber.
According to the Department of Agriculture, researchers discovered that Kakawate’s leaves can also be used as pig dewormer, termite and bed bug neutralizer, anti-fungus and bio-organic fertilizer among others.
Tree farmers said Kakawate is very easy to propagate and inexpensive. They said the tree could re-sprout very quickly after pruning and many farmers plant them mainly to shade other perennial crops like cacao, coffee and tea.
“We encourage particularly those wood fuel users to plant in their private vacant land or backyards to meet the demand of the public on wood so to preserve those that are in the forest areas,” Tumaliuan said.
He said that wood sourced from the forest zones are strictly prohibited and will be confiscated.
“Only those which are sourced out from privately owned planting sites are allowed provided they secure permission from the environment department,” he said.
Tumaliuan advised the public that the best remedy for households dependent on firewood and likewise industries using fuel wood is to plant more trees.
“This is the best source for their wood consumption so as not to resort from forest tree species and those planted in the NGP sites,” he said.