Community Based Forest Management Agreement

The centralized forest management policy, introduced at the time (1975-1986), „would have benefited the privileged few rather than the millions of people who live in forest-dependent denods to survive.“ [5] The Marcos government placed one third of the country`s total forest (8-12 million hectares) under the control of 450-470 large timber-licensed enterprises (TLA), while „indigenous people were considered squatters in their own country… and were treated as culprits for the destruction of forests. [5] Mountain communities, which depend on forests to preserve their livelihoods, have experienced widespread poverty. [13] The Young Innovators for Social – Environmental Development Association (YISEDA) – a group of 34 local men[9] – was established in 1993 under cbFM to promote sustainable logging in the province of Southern Leyte by protecting natural forests and promoting reforestation efforts. [6] [7] The area experienced rapid forest losses, mainly due to illegal logging, and was therefore a priority objective of the CBFM programme. As part of the CBFM, municipalities were „brought down native trees and preserved plantations for timber harvesting.“ [6] DENR`s property rights allow municipalities to harvest trees from the 34 hectares of plantations they themselves have built. [6] The success of the initiative was initially limited by the lack of state investment, although the investments of the German government authority, Deutsche Gesellschaft f-r Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), were decisive for YISEDA`s success. GIZ provided YISEDA with a five-year reforestation plan, as well as funding (P5 million) and technical assistance for the implementation of the plan. [6] The negative effects of the centralized approach to forest control have strongly encouraged civil society to advocate the transfer of control of local resources to communities that could benefit the forest socio-economically and manage forests more adequately. [5] [13] The government responded to these calls for a more man-made forestry program by adopting an executive decision 263 in 1995. It is called „the adoption of forest management by municipalities as a national system to ensure the sustainable development of the country`s forest resources and to put in place implementation mechanisms.“ [5] Under this regulation, local communities can obtain long-term use rights for forest land and resource use permits (RUPs) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), provided they apply environmentally friendly, environmentally sustainable and labour-intensive harvesting methods.

[5] CBFM communities must elect a grassroots organization (PO) that represents a particular project in discussions with other stakeholders. [1] Some of the practices practiced by municipalities under the CBFM range from agroforestry to livestock farming to timber harvesting. [5] The government wanted to place at least 9 million hectares of forests under CBFM by 2008. [5] Forest management in the Community (CBFM) is „a powerful paradigm that has developed from the failure of the state forestry administration to ensure the sustainability of forest resources and the equitable distribution of access to these resources and their benefits.“ [1] In 1995, the Philippine government adopted cbFM as a national system to promote sustainable forest management, recognizing the negative effects of widespread forest losses throughout the country. [2] The regime stresses the importance of involving municipalities in forest preservation through projects such as timber harvesting, agroforestry and livestock farming. [3] The CBFM therefore advocates an increasingly „bottom-up“ approach – contrary to the historically „top-down“ and centralized approach to sustainable forest management, involving a large number of stakeholders.