DENR signs MoU for value-added wood products

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The Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Frank Cimatu, signs the memorandum of understanding with officials of the Asian Forestry Cooperation Organization.

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Asian Forestry Cooperation Organization (Afoco) for the production of value-added wood products from the forests of Negros Oriental and Agusan del Sur, which will generate jobs for grassroots communities.

A vertical integration project for wood processing will produce value-added wood products, using raw materials harvested from community forest management areas managed by grassroots organizations in Negros Oriental and Agusan del Sur.

Under the MoU, the project will be co-financed with AFoCO for $ 1.118 million.

The DENR will implement the project through the Forest Management Office and the DENR field offices in regions 7 and 13.

Unlike today where only logs are produced from these CBFM areas, the vertical integration project is seen as producing value-added, semi-finished or finished products (such as building materials or crafts ). Incomes are expected to improve with the increased value of the products.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the project with AfoCO will be the start of a sustainable forest management project that will create a new industry in both provinces.

He stressed the economic importance that the raw materials will come from the CBFM, and grassroots POs will benefit.

“The Philippines needs five million cubic meters of timber or lumber per year. Only a million come from the Philippines. The rest is imported. Those who come from the Philippines come from private forests, not from CBFM, ”Cimatu said upon signing the MoU.

To be implemented over five years until 2026, Cimatu expressed satisfaction that after a two-year delay due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the project will now start.

AfoCO, an organization based in South Korea, is a leader in reforestation.


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