Provide incentives to communities protecting the forest
About the Implementing organization
Name: New Maria Sinukuan Upland Farmers Association of Arayat, Inc.
Year of establishment: 2010
Type of organization: Community-based association or organization / Community enterprise or business
Tree-preneurship is innovative because it first capacitates communities so that they understand why the intervention is important and need their cooperation and commitment. After they are capacitated, they embark on their own "little business" of establishing a backyard nursery of indigenous trees. They are then paid-in-kind based on a valuation system that the project devised. Another set of 80 farmers per Phase is trained to transplant and maintain the enrichment plantation. They are also paid based on the valuation system. Both backyard nursery and enrichment plantation farmers are divided into groups for monitoring purposes. Every month, the monitors submit the progress of each farmer-groups and this becomes the basis for computing payments for the farmers during Market Day. Two weeks before Market Day, the Project Officers validate the monitoring reports and asks the farmers if they have special requests for their in-kind payment. Usually, special requests are small appliances like electric fans, flashlights, school uniforms and supplies. The usual in-kind payments are rice, canned goods, coffee, sugar, creamer and hygiene products such laundry soap, shampoo, bath soap and toothpaste. This is the reason why we approached Unilever to be a partner and they donated laundry soap and other hygiene products. The women preferred this mode of payment instead of cash because it goes straight to the family and discourages spending the money on vices by the men folks.
Forests / Mountains / Wetlands / Rivers / Wildlife
Type of Action
Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Access and benefit sharing / Awareness and education
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Water security / Disaster risk reduction / Climate action
The Arayat-Candaba watershed is an area in Central Luzon covering more than 32,000 hectares. Both the Candaba Swamp and Mount Arayat are considered ecologically important areas since both ecosystems are habitats of endemic and endangered flora and fauna.
As of 2016, the Treepreneur Project was able to produce more than 100,000 seedlings (50,000 per phase) which were transplanted to a total of 80 hectares of enrichment plantation in Mt. Arayat. The said rehabilitation effort used the agro-forestry model in which the upland farmers were allowed to grow indigenous forest and fruit trees with a 400(forest trees):100(fruit trees) ratio. Eighty (80) hectares of rehabilitated forest in Mt. Arayat alone could help minimise the degradation of the watershed and at the same time may increase the number of wildlife in the area. Rehabilitation and conservation of resources of the Arayat – Candaba Watershed are of great importance, not only to the flora and fauna but also to the local people.
Sustainable Development Impacts
Through this initiative, at least 360 families were benefitted or about 1,800 individuals, Tree-preneur Project was able to increase the income of each family by at least P5,700.00 (or USD127) per cropping. Aside from the backyard nurseries and the enrichment planting sites, it also provided jobs and livelihoods through their earnings from the eco-trek which is now becoming popular. They charge P500/guide per 5 trekkers for the easy trek. They also earn from meals for the trekkers which are included in the package. The farmers also maintain vegetable patches that double as fire line where aside from providing food, also provides extra income during harvest time. MANP has plenty of brooks and streams that have become more robust because of the increased forest cover thus contributing to water security. The initiative also contributes to disaster risk reduction because it helps prevent landslides and other effects of climate change.
The Treepreneurship Project could be expanded to a national level if partnerships among different stakeholders would be strengthened. National government agencies such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Tourism, should be tapped and find mutual interests and form partnership agreements. Also, it is important to form a partnership with a reliable and well-organized community-based organisations and groups in the target areas. Private companies, who could donate their products or give their products in exchange for seedlings and labour/services in the nurseries and enrichment plantation sites, should also be tapped.
The Treepreneurship Project is already a replication of a resource conservation practice which was proven highly successful in South Africa.
The strategy of bartering seedlings for basic needs, such as food and hygiene products, helps eliminate monetary issues within the participating families.
Another key to a successful replication of the initiative is having a reputable and well-organized association in the community in the target area. Increasing the awareness of the participants towards environmental conservation is also a critical factor in the implementation of this kind of initiative. It will help if local government units and other groups and agencies would be available for a partnership. Regular and careful monitoring of the Project could also aid in troubleshooting during and after each Project activity.
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