Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Research Report

LEARNING TOGETHER: Responding to Change and Complexity to Improve Community Forests in the Philippines

Herlina Hartanto
Ma. Cristina Lorenzo
Cecil Valmores
Lani Arda-Minas
Erlinda M. Burton
Ravi Prabu
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2003
Pages: 178
  • Cite this Item

Table of Contents

  1. (pp. vi-vi)

    The Philippines has a long history of managing its forests. Several forest management schemes had been tried and implemented, but they had proved ineffective in preventing destructive forest practices. It was in the early ‘70s that the Government of the Philippines shifted to a participatory, rather than punitive approach, in solving the nation’s forest problems. Since its inception, several people-oriented forestry programmes have been implemented to protect and manage our nation’s forests. These programmes have now been integrated into the Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM).

    To date, CBFM projects have been established in 4,956 sites covering an aggregate area of 5.7...

  2. (pp. 1-6)

    A Philippine field worker seeking to improve the country’s uplands and the livelihoods of forest communities is bound to ask:

    How can the communities best manage the forests in the complex and ever-changing situations so that they can get the benefits they urgently need?

    How do we enhance the country’s community-based forest management programmes to improve the lives of these communities?

    This book attempts to help our fellow field workers answer these questions. We shall do this by sharing with them our research findings and experience. The results of our research in the Philippines have shown that an approach called...

  3. (pp. 7-16)

    In this chapter, we describe a brief history of forest management in the Philippines that led to the development of its CBFM programme. We also portray a mosaic of power relationships among the communities, the DENR and other institutions. Then we show the challenges and problems that persist.

    Community forestry is a concept that portrays people and forests and their relationship with one another. It is defined as organised groups of people who use and manage forests communally.²

    In many parts of the world, community forestry programmes were developed by the state to give communities legitimate access to forest resources...

  4. (pp. 17-24)

    Against the backdrop previously discussed, we feel that the adaptive collaborative management (ACM) approach can improve and enhance CBFM implementation in the country. In this chapter, we describe the ACM approach, the rationale for developing this approach, and its key elements. We will also explain why we think ACM would strengthen CBFM implementation.

    We cannot describe the adaptive collaborative management approach, its key processes and elements without describing other concepts that significantly influenced the development of the ACM concept.

    One of the concepts is collaborative management. Collaborative forest management approaches are characterised by a combination of three elements:

    recognition of...

  5. (pp. 25-44)

    This chapter describes the geographic location of our ACM research sites, their biophysical conditions, and our stakeholders in these sites. It unravels the complexities in institutional interactions and management systems in the two sites. It is in the midst of these complexities that the ACM approach was applied.

    We implemented our ACM research in two CBFM sites in the Philippines, one located in the island province of Palawan and the other in Bukidnon province. These two sites were selected as their characteristics complement the characteristics of other ACM sites in different parts of the world. This would allow us to...

  6. (pp. 45-94)

    This chapter describes how the local people and the stakeholders were facilitated to use the ACM approach. We depict the local issues identified, the processes, and the tools used by the local people in handling the issues. We also highlight the outcomes of their efforts and the elements of ACM that were activated in the process.

    In the first six months of ACM in the Palawan and Bukidnon sites, we familiarised ourselves with local conditions. We immersed ourselves in the villages, and built trust with local communities and other stakeholders.

    We collected initial information about our key stakeholders and their...

  7. (pp. 95-102)

    In this chapter, we present certain difficulties that we faced in using the ACM approach in CBFM activities. We also discuss the challenges that lie ahead for ACM practitioners.

    We have described and shared our research findings on ACM in the two CBFM sites. The preliminary results showed that forest management, when implemented based on the ACM processes of collaboration, social leaning and adaptation, produced promising outcomes in less than two years.

    ACM, however, is not the answer to all problems and it is not without limitation. Despite its unlimited application to various conditions, our research shows that ACM will...

  8. (pp. 103-110)

    This chapter covers the important implications of the results of our ACM research. We feel that the future CBFM programme in the Philippines can be reoriented to accommodate these implications. We believe that doing so can greatly enhance the success of CBFM in the entire country.

    The results of ACM research showed that for ACM to be effective, a conducive and enabling environment needs to be created. These have some implications for the way community forestry in the Philippines is implemented. Several important implications are as follows:

    Our research revealed that the rights to manage the forests under CBFM were...

  9. (pp. 111-116)

    In this chapter, we summarise the processes and the results of our ACM research work. We conclude that indeed, ACM can add value to CBFM implementation in the Philippines.

    Our research findings showed that the adaptive collaborative management approach adds value to CBFM planning and implementation by making the processes more participatory and focused. It engages relevant POs, community members, and local stakeholders who may have been previously excluded in such processes as planning, decision making, learning, and action.

    Furthermore, the structured and intentional learning processes, i.e. the continual reflection-planning-action-reflection cycle, encouraged the POs to observe and monitor the outcomes...