Environmental Impacts of Community-Based Forest Management in the Philippines
This article describes the history of the Community-Based Forest Management program in the Philippines. In the past century, over 70% of the Philippines' forests have been lost, and other existing lands degraded due to massive logging, extreme poverty, and shifting cultivation.
Conclusions & Takeaways
In 1995 the president started a CBFM project to help put forest management back into the hands of community groups to help improve their socio-economic conditions, the sustainable development of forest resources, and the rights of indigenous peoples to manage the land. The program specifically requires the conservation of primary forests, soil conservation, and biodiversity conservation. In secondary forests, selective logging on a 35 year cycle, enrichment planting, timber stand improvement, agroforestry, and reforestation to is encouraged. Previously on areas with the exotic grass Imperata cylindrica, the government planted fast growing exotic trees, with less than a 30% success rate of achieving secondary forest. Under the CBFM program, assisted natural regeneration is encouraged to plant species better adapted to the site, control grazing, creating firebreaks and other fire controls, and 'pressing' the grass to reduce its vigor. One successful CBFM project is the Landcare movement, with over 600 groups involved. This project had success with soil control and carbon sequestration from planting natural vegetation strips. The authors highlight the need for more research assessing the environmental impacts of CBFM on a project and national level.
Environmental impacts of community-based forest management in the Philippines. International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development. 2006;5:46. doi:10.1504/ijesd.2006.008682..
- World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Philippines, Laguna, Philippines
- College of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of the Philippines, College, Laguna, Philippines