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Capacity Building for the Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) Project- Philippines

The loss of biodiversity, natural disasters, and chronic environmental degradation as a result of forest destruction prompted the Philippine Government to issue a ban on logging in 1992 and promote a Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) Program administered by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines. However, the policy initiative alone did not address the underlying economic threats to the forests.

Since 1999, As part of USAID's Global Conservation Program, EnterpriseWorks/VITA has worked to advance approaches to biodiversity conservation that include poverty alleviation and the specific needs and interest of women, indigenous people and other disadvantaged groups.  Building on experiences in India, Indonesia, Nepal and elsewhere in the Philippines, EWV and local partners have focused on the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor in the northeast region, and the Palawan Corridor, areas which possess globally significant biodiversity. The project was amended in 2003 to extend the project period until September 2008 and expand activities to better address the threats to biodiversity.  With emphasis on balancing biodiversity conservation, economic development, and improved natural resource governance, EWV works to:

  • Offer sustainable economic alternatives to timber poaching activities, unsustainable harvesting of non-timber forest products, slash and burn cultivation, burning of grazing lands, and tourist development.
  • Institute effective financial control and management systems for all participating communities.
  • Improve forest resource use and ensure sustainable methods of business operation.
  • Establish formal and informal ties with the Philippine government and private institutions.
  • Link enterprise groups to mainstream markets for their products.
  • Transfer resource management tools and strategies to Federations - developed under proven conservation programs - for articulating and integrating threat abatement strategies into resource management and economic development activities.
  • Develop Federations' capacity to administer biological monitoring and meet legal   compliance with forestry regulations

To date, five federations of over 100 community-based forestry groups have been established and over 312,000 hectares of globally significant biodiversity have been brought under improved management.

To read more about USAID's Global Conservation Program and EnterpriseWorks/VITA's role as a partner click here.