COTABATO CITY (July 18, 2019) — BARMM-MENRE rises up to its responsibility to the environment as Minister Abdulraof A. Macacua has begun aligning the Ministry’s plans, projects and programs to the 12-point agenda of the Bangsamoro government.

Interim Chief Minister of BARMM Ahod “Murad” Ebrahim recently issued a memorandum directing BARMM agencies to follow the aforementioned agenda in pursuit of the mandate of the new Bangsamoro government.

As far as BARMM-MENRE is concerned, the environmental agency has been tasked to develop the region’s enabling policy environment and ensure environmental compliance. Assessment of the status of BARMM’s forests, watersheds, and natural resources will be furthered through the following environmental policies:

1. There will no new issuances of any agreement, leases and permits (e.g. Community Based Forest Management, Pasture Lease, Industrial Tree Plantation agreements; and Individual Property Rights (IPRs) within the forestlands of BARMM.

2. Tenurial instruments issued by the previous administrations will remain as is as long as they comply with the terms and conditions, rules and regulations of the current ENR laws.

3. Prohibition of harvesting naturally-grown trees shall still remain to help preserve the status of the forestlands.

4. The harvest and transport of trees planted within private/titled lands shall be exempted but are still subject to appropriate inventory, geotagging and documentation.

The need to strengthen BARMM-MENRE’s private tree plantation inventory will benefit the Ministry in its monitoring of status of the said plantation inventories and in keeping track of the participation of major stakeholders particularly private landowners in environmental protection.

Towards a Climate-Smart Bangsamoro

Minister Macacua assures the public that the Ministry has been working towards the sustainable progress of the Bangsamoro environment.

“Acknowledging that the environment is a gift lent to us by Allah (SWT), the responsibility to protect it is a must,” the head of BARMM-MENRE said.

“We, as the Khalifa (steward) of the environment, it’s our social and religious responsibility to protect, conserve, and preserve the environment not just in Bangsamoro but in its entirety,” he added.

Last June, the Ministry celebrated the Philippine Environment Month with the theme “Beat Air Pollution”. Macacua emphasized that cleanliness has a big scope. In the air we breathe, in the water we drink, in the environment we live in, cleanliness should cover all of there is in our surroundings, the Minister said. Minister Macacua stressed in one of his environmental messages: “Even in our hearts, cleanliness should also be practiced because when your heart is clean, your actions will also come out clean and our environment will surely benefit from the pureness that our intentions inspire.”