Negrenses can look forward to a greener Negros Oriental after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the province implement the six-year National Greening Program in the province starting this year.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Oscar Magallones said in a recent forum that DENR aims to plant 1.5 million trees in 1.5 million hectares across the province within six years.
Magallones said their target this year is 100,000 hectares, and 200,000 hectares next year.
The National Greening Program is in line with Executive Order No. 26 issued by President Benigno Aquino III, and Executive Order No. 23 which bans the cutting of trees within natural and residual forests, Magallones said.
He added that the President has also ordered every employee and student in the country to plant at least 10 seedlings every year within the six-year period to boost reforestation efforts.
Aquino has earlier issued Executive Order No. 125 declaring 2011 as the National Year of Forest in the wake of United Nations' declaration of this year as the International Year of Forest.
Statistics from DENR show that, out of 540,000 hectares of total land area in Negros Oriental, only 10 percent, or 54,000 hectares, remains covered with forest.
Forest cover nationwide is at 7.2 million hectares.*RG
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