New Options for Land Rehabilitation and Landscape Ecology in Southeast Asia by "Rainforestation Farming"

New Options for Land Rehabilitation and Landscape Ecology in Southeast Asia by "Rainforestation Farming"


The authors describe a methodology for reforestation called "Rainforestation Farming" developed in the Philippines in the 1990s to restore forest cover on degraded lands covered with Imperata cylindrica grass in the Visayas region

Research Goals & Methods

The study used a "closed canopy and high diversity forest farming system" based on the hypothesis that the closer the species composition to local native forest, the more sustainable farming systems in the humid tropics will be. Rainforestation integrates native timber tree species (pioneers and shade tolerants) with fruit trees planted at high stocking rates (2m x 2m) to shade out the grass and provide differentiated income sources. Shade tolerant crops including Dioscorea spp., Xanthosoma spp. and Musa textilis were planted in the understory. The method was tested in a demonstration farm and in several sites on the island of Leyte to test site requirements for different species. Community organizers were hired to provide technical assitance and to support communities in establishing protection for mother trees as source of planting stock.

Conclusions & Takeaways

Farmer income from the sale of low-quality timber and first fruit harvests increased by about 8% in the first 4-5 years. Rotation age is expected to be 12 years for higher-quality timber species.



Göltenboth F, Hutter C-P. New options for land rehabilitation and landscape ecology in Southeast Asia by “rainforestation farming”. Journal for Nature Conservation. 2004;12:181–189. doi:10.1016/j.jnc.2004.03.003.


  • University of Hohenheim, Institute for Plantproduction and Agroecology in the Tropics and Subtropics, Stuttgart, Germany
  • EURONATUR, Ludwigsburg, Germany