The External Linkages and Decision Support unit of MCME conducted an orientation-briefing of private land owners within the buffer zone of the Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve (MMFR) as part of the Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) campaign for Proclamation 1257 (Designating Certain Areas Surrounding the Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve as Buffer Zone) as a major component of the Buffer Zone Management Project in partnership with the Biodiversity Monitoring Bureau (BMB), DENR. Other components of the BZ Management Project is the conduct of perimeter boundary resurvey and installation of concrete-filled PVC pipes as boundary markers. The BZ Management project ultimately aims to determine, mark, and make land owners aware of the boundaries of the MMFR Buffer Zone which is defined in the proclamation as areas within the first eighteen percent slope toward MMFR. MCME partners with DENR Region IV-A for marking the MMFR BZ corners on the ground based on technical descriptions as provided by DENR’s geodetic survey team. CEPA campaigns were conducted with land owners from partner LGUs in Bay (May 20), Calauan (May 24), and Calamba City (May 27) in the province of Laguna and Sto. Tomas (May 26) in the province of Batangas.
The objectives of the CEPA component of the project is to provide awareness to landowners about the upcoming conduct of resurvey activities to the buffer zone; inform land owners about the installation of concrete markers; and clarify misconceptions about the meaning of the proclamation. More specifically, is to clarify that the proclamation only states the limiting of land use to environmentally-friendly activities. It was further discussed during the meetings that land ownership is not affected by the proclamation and only land use and activities within the buffer zone are regulated thru local ordinances. Expected outputs of the buffer zone component of the BMB Biodiversity Program were also discussed with the land owners. The CEPA campaign led by the ELDS team was joined by technical staff from the MAKBAN Watershed Area Team of the NAPOCOR. (JRBarile and LD Barua)