The Philippines welcomed three ASEAN Member States as it hosted the cross-country visit (CCV) of implementers of the ASEAN-ROK Forest Cooperation project, Capacity Building on the Application of Landscape Approach to Support the Sustainable Natural Resources Management in Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Philippines, and Singapore” (shortened form: the AFoCo-BIPS Regional Project), in the province of Zambales on November 20-23, 2018.
The CCV among project implementers aims to share lessons, experiences, and ideas on future direction of the project.
Delegates from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, and Singapore visited the project’s 30-hectare Assisted Natural Regeneration Demonstration Learning Site (ANR-DLS) in Candelaria, Zambales, including the AFoCo-sponsored bunkhouse/multi-purpose hall. The ANR-DLS is one of the core outputs of the Philippines’ in-country project, Restoration of Degraded Forest Ecosystem through Assisted Natural Regeneration. The project is implemented through collaboration among the Forest Management Bureau (FMB), DENR Region 3, and the Matalapi Livelihood Center, Inc. – a people’s organization based in Candelaria.
Apart from the site visit, there was also a discussion on the progress and status of the regional and in-country project. The participants learned the principles of the ANR methodology applied in the demonstration site, as well as concepts on vegetation assessment.
The delegates signed a commitment board installed near the ANR-DLS to express their pledge of support for the sustainability of the AFoCo BIPS Regional Project.
In September 2018, Indonesia hosted the first leg of the CCV, which FMB, DENR Region 3 officers, and the chairperson of the Malatapi Livelihood Center, Inc. attended. Brunei Darussalam and Singapore are expected to host the next CCV, which is scheduled in the first quarter of 2019. (AFoCo BIPS Regional Project/ Paolo Balderia and Eileen Grace Quizon)