New bamboo policy welcome for development, climate change mitigation

Stakeholders welcomed the government’s new bamboo policy, saying it will encourage more Filipino farmers to cultivate bamboo on their land, contribute to local and national development, and contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation. climate change.

The policy is the Administrative Order of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 2021-26 (DAO 2021-26) – Rules and Regulations Governing the Establishment, Harvesting and Transportation of Bamboo.

As a council of which bamboo is one of its main commodities, the Philippine Council for Agricultural, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) praised the publication of DAO 2021-26.

DAO 2021-26 to help bamboo entrepreneurs, plantation owners

The DAO 2021-26 released in August amended various policies on establishing, harvesting and transporting bamboo products with the aim of encouraging the development of bamboo plantations and promoting the sustainable use of bamboo as a substitute. wood.

Bamboo is durable, versatile and multifunctional and can be used to make a variety of products, such as furniture, crafts, building materials, and chemicals.

It has a high carbon capture capacity compared to other plants, which makes the cultivation and use of bamboo very sustainable.

DAO 2021-26 removed Certificate of Verification (CoV) as a previous requirement for bamboo harvesting and transportation.

CoV has been seen as a factor discouraging investment in the bamboo industry due to a tedious and lengthy application process, its short validity of only three days, and its high cost as its use requires multiple applications. .

The new DAO 2021-26 only requires a one-time registration fee for a bamboo plantation registration certificate, which does not expire until the bamboo stand is declared unproductive.

Registration of holders of forest land and backyard farms is also exempt, if they are for personal consumption and transported within the municipality.

Backyard farms can also be registered for commercial production as individuals, provided they have a regular and sustainable supply, or they can choose to form a cooperative / association instead.

DENR will also help bamboo entrepreneurs to access technology transfer agreements provided by DOST and relevant units.

DAO 2021-26 also offers incentives to owners of bamboo plantations for development and processing enterprises, and provides guidance on capacity building, research and development, technology transfer, financial grants and development. ‘other support activities.

Contribution of DOST-PCAARRD to DAO 2021-26

Aware of the importance of the bamboo industry and the issues surrounding it, a round table (RTD) with various government agencies, representatives of the private sector and bamboo producers from Laguna was held in 2016 at DOST -PCAARRD.

The RTD highlighted regulations relating to bamboo harvesting and transport, in particular the much criticized CoV requirement.

As a result, DOST-PCAARRD supported a policy analysis project in 2017 to investigate the problem and provide a scientific basis to create a favorable policy environment for the bamboo industry.

The project “Creating an Enabling Environment for A Vibrant Philippine Bamboo Industry-Addressing Policy Constraints and Information Needs” was implemented by the University of the Philippines Los Baños under the leadership of Dr Ramon Razal, Professor in the Forestry Department. UPLB College of Forestry Paper Products and Science.

The study assessed the policies surrounding bamboo resources and proposed a draft DAO based on the results of the regional workshops, RTDs, the national bamboo policy consultation workshop and the conduct of a cost-benefit analysis.

The document was presented and submitted to DENR through the Bureau of Forest Management in 2019.

Several recommendations from Razal’s team were adopted in the new DAO. This includes the registration of bamboo plantations which now serves as the sole requirement for cutting and transporting harvested bamboo stems, unlike the previous policy where a CoV was required.

CoV, as a 2017 study found, was a deterrent for bamboo growers because it is expensive and time consuming to acquire. Farah Y. Sevilla and Monica B. Castillo / S & T Media Services

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