The Sierra Madre, home to nearly half the country's forests, is essential habitat for threatened species. Since 2002, CI has conducted a series of scientific surveys along the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor that have significantly boosted awareness of the immense biodiversity sheltered in these mountains. We also discovered many new species of frogs, rodents, and reptiles.
Since most threatened species found here live in lowland and degraded forests, CI and our partners are working to secure legal protection and rehabilitation of these places.
Luzon Island also claims the country's largest block of forest under protection. Not only is the Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape habitat for threatened species, it’s a critical watershed that supports irrigation, farming, and provides potable water for nearby Tuguegaro City. CI assisted the Philippine government in declaring it a protected area. Now we’re developing a management plan for Peñablanca, establishing agroforestry programs for upland communities, rehabilitating degraded areas, and conducting awareness campaigns and research on threatened species. To make such efforts sustainable, CI has helped create a conservation trust fund for the protected area through the DANUM Ti Umili Association, comprised of both the private and business sectors from Tugergarao City. The association raises funds needed to implement the protected area management plan and protect and maintain the watershed.
In Qurino province, CI worked with local and national governments to establish the 175,000 hectare-Quirino Protected Landscape. In collaboration with communities and the private sector, we launched a carbon sequestration and monitoring program that provides investment opportunities for sustainable protection of the central Sierra Madre area. We're also assisting local residents in building environmentally-friendly livelihoods, such as agroforestry and ecotourism.