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NEW BRIDGE TO INTENSIFY REFORESTATION IN NUEVA ECIJA WATERSHED. The 80-meter long Barat reinforced concrete bridge that runs across the Barat river in Sitio Kanlungan of Carranglan town in Nueva Ecija is now open and will further boost the reforestation and forest protection efforts in the 44,000-hectare Pantabangan- Caranglan Watershed (PCW) after it was inaugurated on Monday by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Luzon and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
 
According to Paquito Moreno, Jr., executive director of Department of Environment and Natural Resource in Central Luzon, the P32-million worth bridge was funded by (JICA) as an agroforestry support facility (ASF) for the 10-year Forest Land Management Project (FMP) in the PCW, which will also benefit some 1,207 households and upland farmers through better access of farm produce from agroforestry areas in the watershed.
 
Barat bridge is the third major agroforestry support facility funded by JICA in two years after the 60-meter long bridge in Sitio Pamalayan in Conversion village in Pantabangan town and the 55-meter long Calaocan hanging bridge in Burgos village in Carranglan town.
 
Launched in 2012, FMP has already rehabilitated more than 14,000 hectares of denuded forestlands in the PCW through collaborative and comprehensive community-based forest management strategies. (-30