THE DAVAO Oriental provincial government recently signed a memorandum of agreement with falcata tree farmers to strengthen its program that combines reforestation with sustainable livelihood. Under the Nagkakaisang Lingkod-Bayan ng Davao Oriental Forest Landscape Restoration for Sustainable Development (NLD-FLRSD), farmers in six villages in Mati City and the towns of Lupon and San Isidro will get falcata seedlings as well as financial and technical assistance. The NLD-FLRSD, initiated in 2018, is “the provincial approach to ensure inclusive and sustainable development of the province’s forest resources and of the local communities in harmony with the national greening program and with global forest targets anchored on the united nation’s sustainable development goals.” Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang, speaking to the farmers during the March 4 agreement signing, said, “It is not the job of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources alone to preserve nature. Protecting the nature is our shared responsibility.” Falcata is a fast-growing tree that is known to have nitrogen-fixing qualities that help improve soil condition. Mature trees can be used as lumber. “The government has supported this program but it is in your hands to make it prosper,” Mr. Dayanghirang said. — Carmelito Q. Francisco