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The Philippine Peñablanca Sustainable Reforestation Project (PPSRP) in Peñablanca, Cagayan was lauded by the Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) during a project visit yesterday, 6 June, 2012.

The PPSRP seeks to bring sustainable provision of ecosystem services to local communities’ well-being through appropriate management of forest resources and improvement of their household income by way of alternative livelihood through agro-forestry.
The project covers the community Barangays of Cabasan, Bugatay, Sisim, San Roque, and Mangga in Peñablanca. The Conservation International led the implementation of the project in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Peñablanca, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Office 2, and Toyota Motor Corporation – Japan. Four cooperatives were established as beneficiaries of said project.

Forester Juan R. Acay, Jr. informed the monitoring team that they are currently in a transition period as the project ends in July 2013. He said that they are slowly turning over the management of the project to the beneficiaries and intensively providing technical assistance to their reforestation, agro-forestry, forest protection activities and needs.

The project consists of nursery operations which involves production of indigenous seedlings and nursing of rooted kakawate cuttings; plantation of bananas, pineapples and other fruit trees which also served as a source of income; continuous environmental awareness campaigns and advocacies; monitoring of forest activities against illegal activities; conduct of researches on various development issues, and group discussions with the local partners and cooperatives.

From the reports of the locals, aside from ocular evidences observed, the economic standing of the upland farmers have improved with more sources of produce and income, aside from a growing forest area with new tree growth through the project.

The PPSRP has a total area of 2, 900 has. and 2, 500 has. of which is covered for agro-forestry and reforestation activities.