The local community is always the primary focus of initiatives that are implemented to protect fragile ecosystems and productive habitats. Our initiatives demonstrate that uplifting the economic well-being of forest-dependent communities need not be at the expense of further losing the remaining natural forests that nurture unique biodiversity and provide ecosystem services.
Current initiatives for PPLS by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), local government units, and partners are:
- forest restoration
- upland development program involving the communities
- conservation information dissemination
- livelihood assistance through organic farming, agroforestry, ecotourism-based enterprises
- piloting of payment for ecosystem services (PES) schemes to promote forest protection by upland communities
- capacity building of Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) members and people’s organizations
- monitoring of information on biodiversity, socio-economic conditions of communities, land uses and land cover
- support for fund generation to enable the implementation of planned programs/projects under the PPLS Management Plan, including the Tourism Plan and Forest Land Use Plan of the local government of Peñablanca
- community development through improvement of access/transport road and electricity of remote barangays.
Much of these initiatives are being undertaken under the Philippine Peñablanca Sustainable Reforestation Project (PPPSRP), a six-year project funded by Toyota Motor Corporation and implemented by CI with the local government of Peñablanca and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The project aims to rehabilitate 2,500 hectares of open, denuded areas through a combination of reforestation, enhancement planting and agro-forestry.