Communities, people’s organizations (POs), and indigenous peoples (IPs) gathered together during the national consultation workshop on Connecting Forests, People and Climate Change Solutions: Harnessing Contributions of Community-based Forest Management (CBFM) to National Climate Change Plans and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) on 12-13 October 2016 at Sequioa Hotel, Quezon City. The event was organized by the Forest Management Bureau (FMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Non-Timber Forest Products-Exchange Programme Philippines, with support from the German Agency for International Development (GIZ) GmbH, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation.
The capability of PO and IP communities living in and around our forests to sustainably manage our forests was highlighted.Their roles in taking care of our forests are recognized as significant and is key to climate change solutions. This was shown through the collective agreement of their contributions to climate change plans through Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) and, in a broader sense, the integration of social forestry in the Philippine NDC, based on the various experiences of practitioners from the field.
“Local communities are our biggest partners in protecting forests. These partnerships flourished into friendships and resulted in our commitment to the Philippine National REDD+ Strategy,” FMB Assistant Director Mayumi Quintos-Natividad shared.
She also underscored the strengthening of partnerships between local government units and the DENR, together with civil society organizations, POs, IPs and development partners. The FMB also cited and promoted the REDD+ Declaration – a statement of support for REDD+ from various stakeholders in the Philippines – as an example of how local communities, together with relevant partners, can act as one not only for the sustainable management of forests, but also for the effective governance of natural resources.
As part of the overall contribution of the forestry sector to climate change adaptation and mitigation measures in the country, a Social Forestry Network will be established comprising of POs, CBFM coordinators, DENR and other partners, as identified and agreed upon by participants, and strongly supported by FMB.
“My heart belongs to the community. We should be good stewards of our environment – love for people and country,” DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations Isabelo Montejo, added. #