Community Reforestation in the Philippines: An Evaluation of Community Contracts

Community Reforestation in the Philippines: An Evaluation of Community Contracts


Since the 1950s, the Phillipines has lost over 15 million hectares of tropical forest. While there has been continued efforts to halt these trends and reforest the loss areas, there has been many barriers; thus the country recently turned to private and community-based efforts. This study is a review of two reforestation projects in the Philippines that were contracted through private entities rather than government agencies.

Goals & Methods

The two projects that this study evaluates both aim to reverse degradation, enhance local livelihoods, and ensure a sustainable economy. The evaluation's objective is to the success of each of the two projects in regards to their goals of a community-contract reforestation program and to the extent that the four-year time period allowed. The projects were evaluated based on the outcomes of reversing forest loss and environmental degradation as well as the ability of the projects to improve community well-being by increasing income opportunities in the forest sector. 

conclusions & takeaways

The two projects had different species selections and planting styles, but both faced fire as a significant obstacle to tree survival. The study proposes that the project that drew labor and input from the surrounding community, rather than hiring short-term labor, had greater success, particularly in preventing illegal harvesting. The study proposes three main takeaways to improve future reforestation efforts. First, that species diversity should be increased in projects to improve ecosystem benefits. Second, that greater than 10% of revenue should be directed towards replanting. Third, that one organization is not sufficient to represent all the interests of the surrounding community. 



Espaldon VO, Smit B. Community reforestation in the Philippines: An evaluation of community contracts. Knowledge and Policy. 1997;10:34–42. doi:10.1007/bf02912485.