As part of the commitment of the Mining and Degraded Areas Rehabilitation Research Center (MDARRC) to disseminate and promote technologies to address issues on mining and land degradation and to provide relevant information about these technologies, a Regional Technology Forum on Degraded Areas Rehabilitation was conducted on October 14, 2016 at JC Leisure and Business Place, Lanao, Kidapawan City, Cotabato.

A total of forty five (45) participants from various national government agencies, local government units within Cotabato Province, academe and peoples organization attended the forum which aims to orient stakeholders on forest ecosystem rehabilitation and to present Bagacay Mine rehabilitation experience.

In his welcome message, Dr. Bighani M. Manipula, MDARRC Center Head, thanked the participants for attending the forum and said that through such activities the Center has the chance to disseminate the generated and developed technologies to stakeholders so that they will be informed about the Research Center’s current initiatives. He also hoped that as stakeholders, the participants will lead into the adoption of the technologies and contribute to a better change in the environment.

ERDB Administrative, Finance and Management Division (AFMD) Chief Angelito B. Exconde in his message encouraged the participants to join hands in restoring the natural resources. He emphasized that through working together people can save the environment. “I believe that regardless of how big or small our contribution is, it will make an impact. With your partnership and contribution, we can really make a difference,” Mr. Exconde added.

Forester Paul J. Cuadra of the Forest Ecosystem Research Division (FERD) of ERDB presented the topic on forest ecosystem rehabilitation which discussed primarily on ecological concepts that include restoration of vegetation, efficiency of a landscape to manage vital resources, and management interventions.

Forester Cuadra also discussed the steps in the rehabilitation process that could be a guide in planning reforestation or restoration programs based on the protocol that ERDB developed on the technologies that have been generated.

Mr. Angelito B. Exconde discussed the Bagacay Mine rehabilitation experience through a presentation on “An Integrated Science-Based Approach in the Rehabilitation of Mined-out and Waste Dump Areas, in Bagacay, Hinabangan, Western, Samar”. His presentation focused on the initiatives to rehabilitate the Bagacay mined tailing areas and restore the productivity and appearance of the site. Said initiatives proved that science-based technologies coupled with dedication and commitment of the field implementers, restoring the degraded mined-out areas is possible.

During the open forum, Board Member of the 1st district of Cotabato Province and chairman of the Environment Committee of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Rolando C. Sacdalan expressed his appreciation to MDARRC for coming up with such activities that served as venue for learning. He invited the Center to conduct the same forum to local government units in Cotabato Province. He hoped that MDARRC could extend help in addressing issues related to environmental degradation in the upper valley of Cotabato Province. Furthermore, participants from the local government units of Kidapawan City and municipality of Magpet expressed their desire to partner with MDARRC on its ENR-related initiatives.

Supervising Science Research Specialist Vilma Flauta-Nitura, Region XII Research Station In-Charge, said that the technology forum would pave way for future partnerships with various stakeholders in pursuing technology adoption to address environmental degradation. She assured that the Center will continuously conduct the same forum to disseminate relevant information on the Sector’s generated and developed technologies.

Over the years, the Research Sector of the DENR in regions XI and XII provides technical assistance to its clientele through the conduct of various IEC activities such as technology forum. Currently, MDARRC implements various RDE projects to stabilize mined-out and degraded areas through rehabilitation activities pursuant to its mandate s the Center of Excellence. Jethrone M. Setenta, MDARRC