Department of Environment and Natural resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has directed mining companies to allocate a portion of their permit area and establish a bamboo plantation to help the country’s economic recovery program in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Developing bamboo resources and technology has actually been pursued by the government pre-COVID to achieve socio-economic and environmental sustainability. Bamboo is seen as the next alternative for lumber and as an effective greening agent to increase forest cover.
DENR Secretary Cimatu has already instructed the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in September 2019 to direct mining companies to allocate at least 10% of their mined-out areas.
With the economic impact of the pandemic, Secretary Cimatu recently instructed MGB to require mining companies to establish a bamboo plantation equivalent to 10% of their declared final mining area, bringing the total target bamboo plantation area to at least 20%.
MGB specified in its memorandum that for mining companies, contractors, and permit holders without a mined-out area yet that is under rehabilitation, a bamboo plantation outside of its contract area can be considered as an offset for the required bamboo plantation.
Mining companies can enter into a memorandum of agreement with private landowners and people’s organizations for the establishment of the bamboo plantation, and ensure that the bamboo plantation is being cared for and its growth being monitored.
In Region 6, MGB has coordinated with mining companies and permit holders on their commitment to increase their allocated area for bamboo plantation. (MGB-6)