DENR urges public to protect Sierra Madre in Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has reiterated its call to the public to help conserve and protect the more than 500-kilometer Sierra Madre Mountain Range (SMMR).
During a visit to Aurora province, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu stressed the need to strengthen forest protection in the SMMR.
The mountain range serves as Luzon’s natural barrier against strong typhoons that reduce wind speeds of potentially destructive storms.
“Prioritize the protection and conservation of Sierra Madre. Saving this mountain range is equivalent to saving the lives of many people from damage and destruction brought by natural calamities,” Cimatu said.
Known as the longest mountain range in the country, SMMR covers a total land area of about 1.6 million hectares that serve as home to the largest remaining tract of old-growth tropical rainforest.
Its biological importance goes beyond its intact forest, since it is also considered a megadiverse ecosystem, as it homes hundreds of wildlife species that is endemic in the Philippines.
Paquito Moreno Jr., executive director of DENR in Central Luzon, said forest protection and biodiversity conservation programs have been among the priority programs of Cimatu.
The range straddles the provinces of Aurora, Nueva Ecija and Bulacan in Central Luzon.
“The deployment of 130 forest rangers and protection officers in these areas not only augment our patrolling efforts, but also help us guard 15 protected areas and 21 watersheds within the SMMR,” he said.
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