Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) launched an advocacy campaign that seeks to intensify the protection and conservation of forests and watersheds in Central Luzon.
During the Provincial Launch of “Save Our Watershed” campaign in Nueva Ecija, DENR Regional Executive Director Paquito Moreno Jr. said watershed is an important source of water for power generation including domestic and irrigation use.
It also provides numerous ecosystem services such as clean air and water as well as protection to landslides and floods.
“We must sustain these important benefits and functions of our watershed to maintain ecological balance. Our collaborative efforts are much needed now to protect and conserve this ecosystem,” he emphasized.
“Save Our Watershed” campaign calls for the active collaboration and cooperation of various stakeholders to stop environmental crimes and abuses on forest and natural resources.
“We need to change the public perception and attitude that watershed is not only a source of resources to be extracted. It has also life that is crucial to our survival. More than reforestation, social behavioral change is crucial in this campaign to save watershed,” he added.
Moreno also expressed his gratitude to DENR’s partners in the region including people’s organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.
He also extended his appreciation to Japan International Cooperation Agency and Asian Development Bank as well as local government units who have facilitated the organization of watershed management councils.
For her part, Carranglan Mayor Mary Abad vowed to support the advocacy campaign including the Forestland Management Project of DENR in the more than 44,000-hectare Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed.
She also underscored the importance of strengthening the collaboration with different stakeholders and partners to ensure safer and more resilient communities through sustainable watershed management.
The launching in Nueva Ecija also witnessed the forging of a Memorandum of Agreement between DENR Region 3 and Prime Water Corporation for active collaboration on the campaign, maintenance and adoption of watershed, and alliance with people’s organization and local communities to intensify watershed protection.
Several environmental organizations were likewise recognized for their valuable contributions in the protection and conservation of the environment and branded them as “Save Our Watershed” Champions.
These include the Philippine Taxonomic Initiative, Bambuhay, Binbin Igorot Association, Inc., Barangay Salazar Tribal Planting Association, Inc., Kadangdanglaan Farmers Association, Inc., and Sitio Tubong Upland Farmers Association, Inc.