Cordillera comprises 6.1% of the total land area of the Philippines
- The official total land area of CAR covers 1,829,368 hectares or 6.1 percent of the total land mass of the Philippines, where 275,769 hectares or 15.1 percent are Certified Alienable and Disposable Lands and 1,553,599 hectares or 84.9 percent are Forestlands.
- Almost 71.0 percent of CAR’s land area has slopes of 30.0 percent and above. The region has a mountainous topography characterized by towering peaks, plateaus and intermittent patches of valleys.
Table 1. Land Area of the Philippines and CAR: 2010
- Land cover is categorized into major land use groupings namely open, closed and plantation forest; inland water; other land uses which include built-up area, annual and perennial crop, barren land and grassland; and other wooded lands which include fallow, shrubs and wooded grassland.
- The land area of the region in 2010 based on cadastral map was adjusted to equal with the official total land area. The adjusted land cover is presented in Table 2.
Table 2. Land Cover, CAR: 2010 (in Hectares)
- In 2010, closed, open and plantation forests covered 782,973.0 hectares or 42.8 percent of the region’s total land area. Built-up area was 15,596.8 hectares (0.9%), annual and perennial crop covered 227,703.6 hectares (12.4%), barren and grassland covered 150,591.6 hectares (8.2%), other wooded land was 629,690.2 hectares (34.4%) and inland water was 22,812.8 hectares (1.2%).
Agricultural land decreased by a rate of 0.035% while tree-covered areas increased by 15% from 1999-2015
Table 3. Land Cover Estimates, CAR: 1999-2015 (in Hectares)
- Crops or agricultural land declined with a rate of 0.035 percent or about 80 hectares from 227,751 hectares in 1999 to 227,681 hectares in 2015. This represented an average decrease of about 5 hectares annually.
- Tree-covered areas increased from 756,556 hectares in 1999 to 869,856 hectares in 2015. This indicated a 15.0 percent growth rate from 1999 to 2015 with an average growth of 0.09 percent or 7,081 hectares annually.
Figure 1. Land Cover Map, CAR: 2003 and 2010
124,072 hectares are reforested from 1999-2015
- Using the available data for the year 2003 and 2010, the land cover was mapped to capture an overview of the land conversions over the years. It reflects the changes made by the afforestation/reforestation activities of the combined efforts of different government agencies and private sectors. The presence of artificial surfaces on agricultural lands can also be observed from the figure. None of the data compiled can relate to the changes in regularly flooded areas, terrestrial barren-land and inland water of the region.
- The conversion of other wooded land (grassland and shrub land) to tree-covered areas reflect the increase in forest cover to address the needs of the people including poverty reduction and disaster and climate change mitigation. It is also a way to preserve the rich biodiversity of the region and its role as Watershed Cradle of Northern Luzon. The total afforested/reforested area from 1999 to 2015 was 124,072 hectares. On the other hand, a total of 6,052 hectares were affected by forest disturbance and removals on the same time period.
- The decrease in land devoted to agricultural uses can be explained by the land conversions from agricultural lands to built-up areas. These conversions can relate to population growth and upland migration. During the period covered, the total agricultural lands converted to artificial surfaces were 79.7 hectares. In general, there was no apparent trend in land conversions.
CAR land resource is valued at 21.7 trillion pesos in 2015
- The estimated total value of land in the region particularly land devoted to agriculture, aquaculture, forestry and built-up areas amounted to ₱21.7 trillion in 2015.
- The opening stock of land used for agriculture was valued at ₱302.9 billion in 1999 and estimated to be at ₱1.8 trillion in 2015. The value of agriculture land was estimated to have an annual average increase of 11.7 percent or ₱92 billion yearly increment.
Table 4. Estimated Value of Land, CAR: 1999-2015 (in Pesos)
- The monetary value of agricultural land exhibited an increasing trend due to the increase in prices even if the area was decreasing.
- Valuation of land for built-up areas also showed an increasing trend. The opening stock for built-up areas was valued at ₱18.3 trillion in 1999. In 2015, built up areas were valued at ₱18.4 trillion.
- The opening stock of land for forestry was valued at ₱105.9 billion in 1999 and was estimated to be valued at ₱1.6 trillion in 2015 due to the increase in land cover.
- Despite the unchanging zonal value of land used for aquaculture, the monetary estimates varied. The fluctuation was due to the changes in the area of the land devoted to aquaculture.