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Bukidnon Forests, Inc.,
and the Emerging man-made forests
of the Province of Bukidnon.

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There has been much appeal and cry these days on saving our remaining forests. We have all complained bitterly and demanded action - a challenge to all of us how to revive our forests.

Bukidnon's hills and mountains once teeming with verdant forest covers, and abundant wildlife became virtually denuded due to ruthless and wanton destruction and exploitation by irresponsible logging which over the years turned the once productive slopes and mountains into cogon dominated and unproductive grasslands. The consequence of rapid deforestation resulted to incalculable human sufferings due to power failures; water shortage for domestic, agricultural, and industrial use; devastating flashfloods; and increasingly diminishing timber supply.

The Bukidnon Forests, Inc. (BFI), a project of the Philippine Government assisted by the New Zealand Government and managed under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), introduced the concept of cost-efficient plantation forestry and environmental management of sustainable planted production forests - a positive human intervention on nature. It aims to establish 25,000 ha. of forest plantations on 39,000 ha. of marginal and denuded project site. Since 1989, about four million trees of various fast growing forest tree species had been intially planted on 3,500 ha. area.

The BFI has gained the reputation of having served as facilitator and a catalyst on forest development and formation in the Province of Bukidnon at the generic level, by encouraging people's involvement in plantation forestry. The evidently expanding planted young production forests manifest BFI's role and Bukidnon's potential as the future timber province of the Philippines.

Aside from establishing forest plantations to respond to the call of our times, BFI has been contributing towards forest conservation, biodiversity preservation, employment generation, and economic upliftment of rural communities in the Province. It also recognizes the environmental benefits and contribution of plantation forestry - soil and water conservation, wildlife habitats, recreation and eco-tourism, and "carbon sink" by reducing greenhouse effect.

Propelled by unrelenting efforts and sustainable development of forest plantations, BFI's and Bukidnon's vision to support domestic wood requirements and a growing forest industry, and preserve remaining natural forests, will not be far from reality. (Soure: Bukidnon Forests, Inc., BFI Compound, City of Malaybalay, Bukidnon; Prepared by: Danilo O. Lucine, Information Officer.)

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