Bogus reforestation program


The reactionary state has no genuine plan to rehabilitate forests in the country. Its National Greening Program (NGP) is merely a scheme for massive contract growing of commercial timber that are mostly invasive and endanger biodiversity. Local politicians from the big landlord class and their agroforestry business counterparts mainly benefit from contracts awarded under the NGP.

Majority of trees planted in NGP areas are exotic. This include fast-growing commercial trees such as mahogany, falcata, rubber, and export-crops such as coffee and cacao.

The so-called reforestation scheme of the NGP goes against the advice of the scientific community that calls for the planting of trees that are endemic in local forests. The same products are among the country’s top agricultural exports.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources itself touted that it is expecting to harvest tons of falcata timber in approximately 79 hectares of NGP plantations and generate a P31.6 billion profit for its contractors. Worse, the NGP is also being utilized by the state to evict farmers and indigenous peoples from their communities and ancestral lands in mountainous areas.

Bogus reforestation program