Reducing Forest loss in the Philippines.

This project has been working with rural communities in Southern Negros for over 12 years, to address forest loss that threatens local livelihoods and globally important species. The aim is to reduce clearance for subsistence and establish alternative livelihoods, building capacity and skills for trade and enterprise based on the area’s natural resources.

Abaca plant

Abaca (manila hemp) growing is being promoted as a means of addressing critical levels of forest loss in the Philippines. It is an under-storey crop that is being planted in areas targeted for reforestation, alongside indigenous and endemic tree species.

 

abaca fiber

Currently, over 60% of the abaca is discarded as waste during cropping. The project will assess the potential to use the waste as bio-fuel, which can be sold to existing urban markets where illegal firewood and charcoal are used.

One of the globally important species living in these forests is the spectacular and critically endangered Visayan warty pig, which is listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Abaca farming helps communities to regenerate the forest. This helps address climate change, the pigs have more places to live and breed, critical watersheds are protected and also helps to address poverty.