The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is eyeing ecotourism activities in Cagayan Valley, aiming to ease the economic burden on the region as caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
DENR-Cagayan Valley Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan, chair of the Regional Ecotourism Committee (REC), said she will ask for a meeting with the Department of Tourism (DOT) to discuss the plan.
Bambalan, in the same meeting, also intends to identify measures how to help people relying on ecotourism as livelihood could bounce back amid the pandemic inasmuch as she also wants to “prepare health and safety protocols for the re-opening of the ecotourism sites.”
The DOT is the co-chair of the REC by virtue of Executive Order No. 111 issued in 1999.
The chairmanship has a term of three years and is held on rotation basis by the DOT and the DENR.
The committee is responsible for the review, evaluation, approval and monitoring of ecotourism projects in the region.
It is also tasked to implement policies, guidelines, programs, projects and activities formulated by the national council; identify the network of ecotourism sites in the region; and recommend plans and programs for ecotourism.
DENR-Cagayan Valley said it aims to prepare ecotourism management plans in the Magapit Protected Landscape in Lallo.
Cagayan and the Bangan Hill National Park in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, within the year.
The REC will be reviewing these plans for approval by the concerned Protected Area Management Board (PAMB).
It said that of the 12 ecotourism management plans for the protected areas in Cagayan Valley, eight have already been reviewed by the REC for approval by the PAMB and four are still pending.