BUTUAN CITY – The World Bank Group – Philippines, with the assistance of the River Basin Control Office and DENR-CARAGA conducted a Scoping Mission on the Agusan River Basin on June 18, 2015 at the DENR-CARAGA Training Center in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte.
The mission is part of the WB’s Program for Forests (PROFOR) which aims to determine the role of forests in reducing poverty and enhancing climate resilience through the use of economic valuation of the forest resources found within the river basin. There are three (3) pilot areas for this study: Marikina, Bicol and Agusan River Basins in which the Scoping Team will only pick one or two sub-basins where they would conduct their study.
The Scoping Team met with DENR Regional Director Nonito Tamayo, Jr. to discuss the objectives and output of the mission. The Regional Director was pleased about the mission and gave the team a heads up on the expectations of the RBO on the study.
After meeting with RD Tamayo, the team proceeded to the Office of the Governor of Agusan del Norte to inform them about the mission in which they said that they would gladly offer help since they are the recipient of the results of unfavorable activities happening on the upstream of Agusan River Basin.
After the courtesy call with the Regional Director and the Executive staff of the Governor of Agusan del Norte, the team conducted its consultation with the Agusan River Basin Interim Organization, chaired by Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos regarding the scoping mission. The consultation aims to give the RBO an overview of the study and to seek their endorsement on the conduct of the study. The most Rev. Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, Chairman of the said RBO, was very pleased about the study and emphasized that everyone must protect and conserve our God-given natural resources. Concerns were raised on the management of the river and riverbanks since the residents of Agusan del Norte experiences extreme flooding especially during rainy season. The members of the RBO endorsed the conduct of the study.