IT has been six years since the Palbong community established a site purely for forest restoration. Through the assistance of Haribon Foundation and with the support of the Municipality of Sablayan, Mindoro’s local government, the Community Based Forest Management Association (CBFMA) members were provided capacity development programs to help them manage and conserve their forest.
The natural resource dependent community members who were engaging in environment degrading activities such as timber poaching, charcoal making and “kaingin” shifted to forest restoration projects and sustainable sources of livelihood.
After being trained in rainforesta¬tion, a technology that requires the planting of native trees, the Palbong CBFMA members worked on trees that were originally present in the area like Kalumpit, Tipuso, Malugai, Kupang, Banaba, and Tuai, among others. Although the association had a lot of challenges, the community remained unfazed and continued their initiative to conserve and protect biodiversity in the area.
To date, the Palbong CBFMA has become one of the recipients of the “Best Rainforestation Award” given by the Rain Forest Restoration Initiative (RFRI)—a network of individuals and organizations that work towards decreasing and hopefully eliminating forest degradation in the Philippines and advocates the use of native trees species for forest restoration.
The award was given during the RFRI conference that focused on the theme “Increasing Resiliency towards Climate Change and Natural Disasters through Rainforestation” in July at La Breza Hotel. Participants during the conference include RFRI members such as the Foundation for the Philippine Environment, Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation, Non-Timber Forest Product-Exchange Program, Haribon Foundation and other networks. Rainforesta¬tion practitioners and interested groups including people’s organization, local governments, and other organizations also attended the conference. The whole-day event discussed the benefits of rainforesta¬tion and the planting of native trees in maintaining ecological balance. The conference also tackled how rainforestation promoted socio-economic independence and climate resilience among communities.
Palbong is one of the many successful stories that Haribon Foundation is proud to be a part of. Through education and guidance, this community became a model for managing their resources effectively through rainforestation.
Join Haribon’s Adopt-A-Seedling, Nurture-A-Seedling programs, and Tree Planting Activities. Call 421-1209 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.