DENR-CENRO Calauag assisted the local government unit of Lopez, Quezon in crafting of its Forest Land Use Plan (FLUP) through a meeting and orientation held at the Municipal Hall of Lopez, Quezon.

Members of the Municipal Technical Working Group, including barangay leaders of the initially identified areas with forests and forestlands (FFL) in Lopez, participated in the activity.

Municipal Planning Development Coordinator and concurrent MENRO designate Aristedes E. Arias, EnP expressed his gratitude to the DENR for accommodating their request to assist in the technical aspect of FLUP preparation as it is necessary to complete the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of the municipality. He added that having an FLUP is vital to allocate FFL to their proper uses and implement appropriate strategies to obtain the optimum benefits from these FFL.

Likewise, Conservation and Development Section Chief, Ecosystems Management Specialist II Novet Joy S. Pantalunan highlighted that FLUP formulation would take several months since it must involve various stakeholder consultations and secondary data ground verifications.

She stressed that the main objective of FLUP is to allocate the remaining FFL to their best uses, which can be achieved through well-planned programs/projects/activities for the FFL. These PPA must complement those indicated in the CLUP and other plans relative to the management of the natural resources of Lopez, Quezon.

CDS Chief Pantalunan also emphasized the importance of the participation of stakeholders and critical roles of both the Municipal and Barangay LGUs, as well as those who reside in the vicinity of the FFL in the crafting of FLUP―since they have first-hand knowledge of the history and changes in land use that had occurred in these areas through the years.

As referred to the GIS-generated maps presented by Forester II Aleli C. Alvarez, 28 out of 94 barangays in Lopez with an approximate total area of 5,298.2997 hectares, were initially identified to have FFL.

As agreed during the meeting, community profiling part of the situational analysis for the FLUP Formulation will follow in the next few days.

Based on Forest Management Bureau (FMB) Technical Bulletin No. 2, FLUP is a document developed through an iterative, transparent, accountable and participatory process to ensure sustainable management of forests and forestlands providing environmental, social and economic benefits to society.