Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Jose L. Atienza Jr. yesterday said that the DENR is ready to embark on a nationwide upland reforestation project that would make mountain dwellers partners in the massive planting of fruit-bearing trees.
"I have already reviewed the draft implementation plan and after revisions and final study, we are ready to go to the field to regreen upland areas," Atienza said.
Atienza said he is more than optimistic about the success of this novel approach to reforestation because the upland dwellers will be involved in planting, nurturing, and protecting the trees they have planted in their areas.
He added that because fruit-bearing trees are long-term sources of income, the upland dwellers will not cut them and will care for and protect them.
The DENR chief said this reforestation project is part of President Arroyo's hunger mitigation measures and sustainable upland management programs.
"It was President Arroyo who ordered the allocation of additional R2 billion to the DENR for this reforestation project," Atienza said.
He said the House of Representatives approved early this month the DENR's R12. …