Philippines adopts new strategies against forest fires

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-3-27 8:26:08

The Philippine government has adopted new strategies and drawn up preventive and remedial measures against forest fires as the high fire risk season of summer comes, a senior government official said Tuesday.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje said that forest fires, which are particularly prevalent in the summer season, are a major and permanent hazard that could completely destroy forests in the country.

"In an effort to address the issue, the DENR has invested in comprehensive training programs to equip its forestry workers with the needed skills to fight forest fires effectively," he said.

Paje also ordered the DENR field officials to give higher priority on the strict monitoring of protected areas, which also function as habitat for endangered species of plants and animals, and to ensure sufficient water supply in communities.

According to the records of the DENR's Forest Management Bureau, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in northern Philippines tops the list of forest fire hotspots, followed by Central Luzon and Southern Mindanao.

From 2000 to 2010, the DENR recorded a total of 34,921 hectares were affected by forest fires, with 19,607 hectares located inside natural forest, while the other 15,314 hectares inside plantation areas.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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