DENR XII enjoins public to protect and conserve caves

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region XII is urging greater participation from the public to help in protecting and conserving caves, as it offers significant, scientific, educational, economical and aesthetic values.

This came as a result of Rapid Cave Assessment conducted by the personnel from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO)-Midsayap and some personnel from the regional office in the Municipality of Banisilan.

The DENR in partnership with the Local Government Units (LGUs), the academe, and the Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) is working for cave conservation by conducting assessment, cave classification, survey and mapping and the formulation of Cave Management Plan.

DENR XII Regional Director Nilo B. Tamoria said that the protection and conservation of caves is mandated under Republic Act 9072 (National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act). Under this Act, the DENR is tasked to formulate, develop and implement a national program for the management, protection and conservation of caves and cave resources with cave coordinating agencies.

“Protection and conservation efforts are being made for our cave and cave resources. However, there is still much to be done. The government is implementing various policies for cave management but these will only be successful if there is active participation by the general public,” Dir. Tamoria said.

“We have been engaging into Information, Education, and Communication Campaign to increase people’s awareness but there is a need now to turn awareness into action,” he added.

As such, DENR XII further appeal for the prohibition of gathering, collecting, possessing, consuming, selling, bartering or exchanging or offering for sale of any cave resource without authority.

Caves can also be used for our enjoyment, but only to a certain extent. Classifying caves accordingly will thus help define which human activities are allowed within these areas so that it is preserve in their pristine state, or improve them if necessary.

Conservation and Development Division (CDD) Chief, Dr. Ali Hajinasser called on to the LGUs, academe and students to take into consideration cave as part of the Research Agenda.

Regional Cave Focal Person Ramonette Saruang revealed at least 80 caves in Region XII have been discovered and recorded, 44 were assessed and 40 were classified with two (2) tagged as Class I, 27 as Class II and 11 as Class III.

Cave has been defined as any natural occurring void, cavity, recess or system of interconnected passages beneath the surface of the earth or within a cliff or ledge which is large enough to permit an individual to enter, whether or not the entrance, located either in private or public land, is naturally formed or manmade. (RHSumagpao

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4TH QUARTER MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

More than 70 officials composed of division chiefs and section chiefs from regional office, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), PENROs and CENROs recently convened during the 4th Quarter Management Conference in General Santos City.

The conference aimed to review and assess the physical and financial performance of the region vis-a- vis the targets for the year 2018.

Headed by Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria, he further laid down concerns, strategies and directions in attaining the targets and in performing the mandate. (RHSumagpao)

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