Cotabato City– The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has turned over all government documents and resource maps pertaining to protected areas located in the component provinces of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Effectively, the BARMM’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE) now officially oversees protected areas, following the official turnover by DENR Undersecretary for Enforcement, Mining and Muslim Affairs Jim O. Sampulna to BARMM Executive Secretary Abdulraof A. Macacua.
“Now that Cotabato City and the 63 barangays of North Cotabato are officially part of the Bangsamoro community, we envision a society that features greener and more climate-smart values,” said BARMM Executive Secretary Abdulraof Macacua, during Friday’s turnover ceremonies. Macacua is concurrent BARMM Minister for MENRE.
“We are willing to provide guidance in the administration of ENR (environment and natural resources) projects in the BARMM. That is what DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu told me, ‘Tulungan’ (to help),” said Sampulna.
DENR Region 12 Executive Director Atty. Felix S. Alicer, along with Ronald D. Gadot Assistant Director of Technical Services DENR Region 9, OIC Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Aldrich S. Resma, also handed over their corresponding regional documents, survey maps and other assets to the MENRE chief.
Prior to the creation of the autonomous region, resource-maps and other documents pertaining to the Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary in Tawi-Tawi, the Lake Lanao Watershed and the Liguasan Marsh as protected areas were respectively aligned with the natural resources maps of Region 9, Region 10, and Region 12.
Supervision and implementation of all national government undertakings in BARMM component geographic areas were also transferred to BARMM during the ceremonial turnover held at the Kalikasan Hall, MENRE Regional Office this city.
Administrative and operational supervision of the National Greening Program (NGP), Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management Project (INREMP), Lake Buluan and Liguasan Marsh’s Protected Area Suitability Assessment (LBLMPASA) and other programs, have also been transferred to the BARMM-MENRE.
“As the Khalifa or stewards, we shall strengthen the implementation of the existing environmental laws and policies here in our growing Bangsamoro region,” Macacua added.
In a press statement, Minister Macacua acknowledged that “environmental issues are a major concern worldwide and emphasized that the BARMM is not immune to this.”
He assured MENRE-BARMM’s “commitment to keep its mandates in protecting and conserving the environment of the Bangsamoro through moral governance, heading towards clean, healthy, safe and resilient communities,” the statement added.
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