In honor of Forests Day at the U.N. climate talks in Durban, South Africa, we bring you a story from the Philippines, where CI and partners are working with communities to protect forests and fight climate change. Read other COP 17 posts.
Much more than just sources of timber or wood products, healthy forests help ensure a steady supply of water, host rich biodiversity, prevent erosion, control floods, and store enormous amounts of carbon, among other benefits.
In the Sierra Madre mountain range — the Philippines’ largest remaining tropical rainforest — CI is working with communities and the private sector to restore thehealth of the forest’s degraded areas, which have long been subjected to destructive practices like large-scale logging and slash-and-burn farming.
The Philippine Peñablanca Sustainable Reforestation Project is being implemented by CI and funded by Toyota Motor Corporation. While the project’s main objective is to restore forests, it also creates other benefits for the forest-dependent communities. These communities, who were also among those who previously practiced unsustainable activities like charcoal making, are now partners and beneficiaries of the project. Through conservation agreements, CI is working with these farmers to plant native species of trees and establish agroforestry farms that can supplement the farmers’ income.
The project has garnered a gold level of approval from the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) Standards for exceptional biodiversity benefits, and has been estimated to deliver a net climate benefit of 362,920 metric tons of CO2 equivalent through avoided emissions and additional sequestration over 30 years.
The CCB Standards validation was certified by the Rainforest Alliance, who has put together this short film discussing how the project has helped to improve the lives of local people — as well as the validation process that led to the gold standard ratings.
Corina Bernabe is the communications coordinator for CI-Philippines.