ILAGAN CITY, Isabela: The World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF-Philippines) will kick off its reforestation drive at the Northern Sierra Madre Mountain this month with a tree-planting ceremony on October 14.
WWF-Philippines project manager Luis Caraan on Sunday said National Geographic Channel is joining the launching of the reforestation program.
WWF-Philippines, which is locally registered as Kabang Kalikasan ng Pilipinas, focuses on agro-forestry such as planting of fruit-bearing trees to create more productive and sustainable land-use system.
”The group also works to protect and reforest the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park, a 300,000-hectare dipterocarp forest which stands as the largest remaining swath of old growth rainforest in Luzon,” Caraan said.
Meanwhile, reports of illegal logging activities along Isabela’s forest areas is threatening the province’s remaining 600,000 of the region’s more than 900,000 hectares of forest lands; it includes the Northern Sierra Madre biodiversity corridor.
Caraan said the Northern Sierra Madre, which is Cagayan Valley’s watershed, is the major irrigation source for more than 400,000 hectares of farmlands in the region particularly Isabela province, which is the leading rice and corn-producing province in the country.
The Northern Sierra Madre is a protected area, which suffers from illegal logging and environmentally destructive farming activities; kaingin system or slush-and-burn farming is blamed as the main culprit in the remaining forest cover.