KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 12 has reminded several ecotourism establishments to religiously comply with the existing environmental laws and regulations concerning their operation in the region.
In his presentation during the SOX Tourism Summit with a theme “Rethinking Tourism,” an activity spearheaded by the Department of Tourism XII on Tuesday in line with the celebration of World Tourism Day, DENR-12 Enforcement Division Chief Forester Dirie P. Macabaning emphasized the department’s support to ecotourism development, provided that the establishments are compliant with the existing ENR laws.
“DENR supports ecotourism development as it is considered as a tool for sustainable environment and a sustainable approach to balance economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects for development, it just has to be in accordance with the applicable ENR laws,” Chief Macabaning said.
During the event, Chief Macabaning presented the environmental laws affecting development of eco-tourism sites which are the: Republic Act (RA) 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS), as amended by RA 11038 or the Expanded NIPAS for project areas within National Parks; RA 9147, an Act for Conservation and Protection of Wildlife Resources and their Habitats; RA 9072 or the National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act; Presidential Decree 705 or the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines as amended for forest/timberland areas; and other environmental laws supporting ecotourism projects.
He also presented the scope and coverage, application requirements and processing of Special Use Agreements in Protected Areas (SAPA), Forest Land Use Agreement for Tourism (FLAgT) and the different tenure instruments in forestlands applicable to tourism- related development projects.
Chief Macabaning also encouraged the participants from different line agencies, tourism accredited establishments and tourism officers from various local government units to coordinate and verify to the DENR office the land status and/or classification of the parcel of land they claim/occupy for ecotourism development projects to be guided on the appropriate tenure instrument for their purpose.
Prof. Felipe De Leon of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, travel vloggers Sandy Jones Pilarca of Lost Juan and Janford Bonifacio Laguiab of Bloggers of Tuguegarao have also presented their topics during the event. | With report from Enforcement Division and photos from DOT-12