The ERDB researches particularly those in the forestry profession attended the Society of Filipino Foresters (SFF) 69th National Conference at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang, Davao City on Oct. 19-21, 2017. For this year, the host region was the Society of Filipino Foresters, Inc. (SFFI) Davao Region Council with the theme “Forest is Life”.

The national conference started with a ceremonial tree planting (Carbon Neutral Group) led by the SFFI Davao Region Council with the other regional counterpart members then followed by a press conference and ribbon cutting in the morning. The 2,300 estimated participants on the said conference were composed of foresters from the government offices, academe, private offices/corporations, and NGOs.

The 3-day national conference aimed to discuss the three (3) modules, namely: the Social Value of Forest Ecosystems, the Economic Value of Forest Ecosystems and the Environmental Value of Forest Ecosystems, respectively. Each module comprises of two (2) to four (4) topics delivered by several speakers coming from the different forestry sectors in the country.

The moderator for the 1st module was Dr. Antonio P. Contreras of DLSU. Under this module, various topics discussed were forest in the aspects of food security (DA Sec Emmanuel Pinol), in community development and poverty alleviation (For. Marlo Mendoza) and in health and wellness (Dr. Isidro Sia). For the 2nd Module, the moderator was Dr. Margaret M. Calderon of IRNR-CFNR. Topics such as forest in the aspects of power generation (Dr. Diomedes Racelis) and in wood industry (Director Nonito M. Tamayo) were tackled under this module. For the last module, Atty. For. Reynato Pacaldo of MSU was the moderator. This module focused on topics such as forest in climate change (Dr. Rex Victor Cruz), forest in biodiversity and ecological stability (Director Theresa Mundita Lim), the Philippine Eagle Conservation Program (Dir. Jayson Ibanez) and forest in rehabilitation and restoration of mining areas (Dr. Edwino Fernando). Dr. Manuel Bonita gave the synthesis of modules with perspectives on sustainable forest management.

For the opening program, the SFFI National Council President Tommy T. Valdez welcomed and recognized all the Regional Councils in the function hall. While, Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio of Davao City gave a welcome address to all the foresters in the convention. After which, the SFFI General Assembly Business Meeting was facilitated by For. Tommy T. Valdez. Six (6) agenda were discussed in the conference including the CDP Law 2016 and its IRR (R.A. 10912) in the Forestry Profession led by the SFFI National Council Officers particularly For. Emmanuel A. Umali. Haira Jill E. Apolinario, LESD