DENR to review STIFRMSP IN Mt. Province
THE DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources is set to review the status of the Sustainable Traditional Indigenous Forest Resources Management Systems and Practices (STIFRMSP) Program or locally termed as the ‘Batangan’ system as practiced by the municipalities of Besao, Sagada and Tadian, all in Mountain Province.
The Batangan System is the documented traditional forest systems and practices and as such, the DENR sanctioned the drafting and approval of the Joint DENR-NCIP Administrative Order No. 2008-01 otherwise known as the “Guidelines and Procedures for the Recognition, Documentation, Registration and Confirmation of all Sustainable Traditional Indigenous Forest Management Systems and Practices of Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) or Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in Ancestral Domain/Land”.
A Joint Implementing Rules and Regulations for the adoption of the ‘Batangan’ as Sustainable Traditional Indigenous Forest Resources Management Systems and Practices (STIFRMSP) of the ICCs/IPs was issued.
The Cordillera office of DENR meanwhile was tasked to conduct the zoning, survey and mapping, inventory of timber resources and to implement livelihood programs are the activities for the identified communities in the three municipalities.
In a recent meeting with different government agencies, DENR Forester Julius Cawilan said STIFRMSP serves as a permit to cut trees but it doesn’t mean “cut trees based on what you want”.
Cutting of trees, added Cawilan, is based on the sustainable customary laws, hence giving way to the appropriate utilization of the natural resources. In addition, planting, protecting and harvesting activities are part and among the components of the program.
Forester Christopher Bosaing of CENRO Sabangan explained ‘Batangan’ is an approach to the advancement of the existing sustainable conservation, utilization and management of the natural resources as well as to respect and sustain the resource rights of the IPs, ICCs through equitable access to natural resources.
Bosaing added it is also seen as fair benefit-sharing among them in their traditional forest management systems within the municipalities covered stressing policies under municipal ordinances should be formulated by the legislative body of the municipality and not the DENR.
It was learned the municipalities of Besao, Sagada and Tadian have previously drafted ordinances for the implementation of the Batangan system but are still up for review by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.