“FORESTS REBORN”

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“FORESTS REBORN”

 

FOREST PLANTATIONS IN PASUQUIN AND

VINTAR, ILOCOS NORTE

 

                The Philippine Forest Development Project in Ilocos Norte (PDFPIN) under an ADB Loan Agreement (677- PHI) was started in 1984 to reforest the openlands of the Banban and Vintar Watersheds. Casuarina equisetifolia, Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Gmelina arborea were planted in Tadao, Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte covering an area of 4, 237 ha. The plantations expanded in the watershed areas of Surong Valley, Vintar increasing the total planted area to 13, 200 ha. In the established plantations about 2, 790 ha were planted to rattan. The community based contract was also introduced in its approach to reforestation in the later part of the project.

                 After the termination of the ADB Loan Agreement in 1993, the PENRO in Ilocos Norte took over the protection and maintenance of the plantations.

                 Today, the plantations having an age of 21 yrs to 28 yrs old are now fully grown forests, the once mono-culture plantations, through time are now steadily transformed into forest of biodiversity. Strip sampling in the 1986 plantation reveals several indigenous species already growing under the canopy of Eucalyptus, Mahogany and Gmelina. Vines such as name, pakit, bayag turo, gugo, beriba, mawini, limuran and palasan are growing vigorously. Likewise, wild pigs, wild chicken, hornbill, bulbul and wild dove are observed roaming within the 4, 237 ha Tadao forest plantation. Tree density wise, there are 1,400 to 1,600 trees/ha varying in diameter from 15 cm to 54 cm (=188 cu.m. /ha) plus about 258 poles/ saplings. The thickness of the top soil on the forest floor now ranges from 4 cm to 10 cm with abundant organic matter from the build- up of fallen leaves and other plant parts.

                 In Surong Valley, Vintar, the once overgrazed grasslands are now plantations of Eucalyptus camaldulensis.