Child in Mindanao, Philippines.
© CI/Photo by Olivier Langrand
As part of the Healthy Families, Healthy Forests project supported by USAID, CI and partner organizations focused efforts on reducing population pressure on natural resources and improving the quality of life in communities surrounding key biodiversity areas within the proposed Northeastern Cagayan Protected Landscape and Seascape and the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor.
CI and their NGO and government partners attempted to address the lack of access to family planning and reproductive health services in communities inside or near the forests where in-migration and fertility were high. The lack of these services contributes to rapid population growth, thereby causing increased unsustainable use of forest resources.
Many of these forests were included in concessions as community-based forest management areas and Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claims of indigenous peoples. However, they remained inadequately managed. Thus, uncontrolled timber poaching and clearing of forestland continued to destroy the forest.
This further reduced the forest’s capacity to meet the future needs of the communities, serve as habitat to diverse flora and fauna, and sustain environmental services critical for the communities’ survival, including supplying water for irrigation of their farms and for domestic use.
CI and USAID created the Healthy Families, Healthy Forests in order to:
- Encourage and enable residents of reproductive age (15 to 49 years) in six barangays to adopt safe and appropriate FP/RH practices and
- Build the capacity of target communities to effectively manage their community-based forest management and Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claims projects for sustained resource yields and biodiversity protection.
Throughout our work on the ground, we have aimed to empower the people living on the frontlines of biodiversity to meet their basic human needs for food, shelter and health in tandem with sustainable environmental practices.
Under CI’s Population, Health and Environment program, more than 1,620 hectares have been protected in the Philippines while improving the lives of communities and families in the area.
IN DEPTH: Learn about more population, health and environment initiatives in the Philippines