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MP Candao lauds BARMM’s deployment of forest rangers

Climate Change/Environment • 12:15 PM Fri Nov 29, 2019
Edwin O. Fernandez
Member of Parliament Princess Maleiha B. Candao delivers her piece during one of the BTA sessions. (contributed photo)

COTABATO CITY – The remaining forests in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will now be secured from man-made forest destruction with the deployment of some 400 former Moro rebels to serve as forest rangers, a BTA Member of Parliament (MP) today said.

BTA MP Bai Maleiha B. Candao lauded the move of Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim to deploy about 400 Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as “palaw” or forest protectors.

In a statement, MP Candao said the rangers will form part of the implementation of Integrated Bangsamoro Greening Program (IBGP) aimed at protecting the remaining forest covers in the region.

BARMM is composed of the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, the cities of Cotabato, Marawi, Lamitan and 63 villages in North Cotabato that opted to join the region.

The IBGP aims to reforest about 10,000 hectares of forests in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur that had been denuded over the years.

Other parts of the region will soon have its own forest rangers, Candao said.

Data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources showed that as of December 2010, the region has 99,889 hectares of closed forests, another 146,431 hectares of open forests, and 55,574 hectares of mangroves for a total of 301,894 hectares of forest cover. ###

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