Before 2019 ends, the Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. (MBCFI) awarded nine woodlot cooperators in Mindoro, whose nurseries, bio-intensive gardens, and woodlot sites were adjudged as orderly, clean and sustainable.
MBCFI has initiated conservation actions such as establishments of restoration and woodlot sites in its priority areas in Mindoro island. Grace C. Diamante, Executive Director of MBCFI, said that the establishment of woodlot areas is the result of resource and socio-economic assessment and wood demand surveys in priority areas, which aims to protect and conserve its forest areas.
The method which MBCFI used in the selection of awardees was based mainly on an evaluation made by a licensed forester on the woodlots that were graded using a set of criteria like survivability, cleanliness, use of organic fertilizer and submitted reports, among others.
For Mt. Halcon in Oriental Mindoro, the three winners, namely Loremo Agabayan of Barangay Lantuyang, Dario Calangay and Rene Umalmin of Barangay Bayanan in the town of Baco, are local dwellers belonging to Mangyan Alangan and Iraya tribes, respectively, in the said barangays located at the foot of Mt. Halcon in northeastern Mindoro. In Barangay Bayanan, which has approximately 390 total households scattered in ten sitios, MBCFI has been regularly monitoring and supervising the woodlots of Mangyan cooperators who grouped themselves as Kawaras Gabay Akyat Halcon ng Bayanan with 45 members. In Lantuyang, they call themselves as Sarig Agunaker sa Bulod Sialdang with 33 members.
In Rizal and Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro, there are approximately 57 hectares of restoration and woodlot areas being maintained by 34 cooperators with more than 40,000 seedlings/wildlings of native tree species, grafted mango, calamansi, sintores, and dwarf coconut. The awards were given to Cynaan Agpay of Pangkalikasang Samahang Buhid ng Bato-Singit in Rizal and Fausto Novelozo of Nagkakaisang Tau-Buid ng Tamisan sa Pangangalaga ng Kalikasan.
In Ilin and Ambulong Islands, 17 cooperators have planted more than 3,000 seedlings/ wildlings of native tree species, grafted mango, calamansi, sintores, and dwarf coconut on about 10 hectares of restoration sites and woodlot sites. Awards were given to Wenefredo Enelda and Regan Empacta of Nagkakaisang Samahan ng Mamamayan para sa Kapakanan ng Pamayanan.
In Mt. Calavite Wildlife Sanctuary, also in Occidental Mindoro, there are approximately 40 hectares of restoration and woodlot sites planted with more than 8,000 seedlings/wildlings of native tree species, grafted mango, calamansi, sintores, and dwarf coconut seedlings. The best woodlots were taken care of by Ardin Landason and Joey Tagumpay.
Cynaan Agpay of Pangkalikasang Samahang Buhid ng Bato-Singit in Rizal was declared the over-all winner.
MBCFI, as a non-government organization, aimed at conserving and managing biodiversity and its habitat through a collaborative partnership with different stakeholders, including the local communities.