Agroforestry for Economic Opportunities in Palawan - USAID

Behind the Lens of Healthy Forests for Healthy People: Hauling Fruit Tree Seedlings by Water Buffalo in the Philippines

By Climatelinks

This blog series features interviews with the winners of the 2020 Climatelinks Photo Contest. This photo, submitted on behalf of the USAID Protect Wildlife project in the Philippines, is available on the Climatelinks Photo Gallery.

Can you tell us the story behind the photo, such as the woman in the photo and how it was captured? 

This photo features the work of Protect Wildlife, a USAID-funded biodiversity conservation project in the Philippines to promote sustainable livelihoods in Palawan province. Our team happened upon this woman and her water buffalo on the way to one of our supported communities in Palawan, where a distribution of fruit tree seedlings had just wrapped up for the day. It was a challenge to do an impromptu shoot with a live animal, but in the end the team was able to capture this great photo.

As the submitter, what does this photo mean to you?

This is one of the project team’s favorite photos. It captures the project’s mission of using agroforestry to create sustainable economic opportunities for underserved indigenous rural communities in Palawan, while also preserving the forest habitats and natural resources that they have depended on for generations.

This year’s theme was “Healthy Forests for Healthy People.” Tell us more about how your photo relates to the theme.

The photo illustrates the project’s agroforestry and conservation agriculture initiative, which allows USAID to provide incentives to farmers who agree to plant high-value fruit trees in forestlands and buffer zones classified as production areas. This will contribute to increased tree cover in the area, enhanced climate resiliency through healthier forests, and improved conservation of local biodiversity.

How does this photo show work that is being done to combat climate change?

The project’s agroforestry and conservation agriculture activities in Palawan are a climate-smart and biodiversity-friendly way to get local farmers, indigenous villages, and rural communities engaged in farming practices that are both sustainable and economically viable. Agroforestry is a great alternative to resource-intensive and emissions-heavy agriculture, and when done right, can help restore forests and watersheds that boost carbon sequestration while also enriching local biodiversity and ensuring food and nutritional security.

The Climatelinks community is encouraged to submit new photos to the gallery through this submission form.

Strategic Objective
Adaptation, Integration
Adaptation, Biodiversity, Food Security and Agriculture, Gender and Social Inclusion, Health, Indigenous, Sustainable Land Management, Natural Resource Management, Sustainable Landscapes, Water and Sanitation



Climatelinks is a global knowledge portal for USAID staff, implementing partners, and the broader community working at the intersection of climate change and international development. The portal curates and archives technical guidance and knowledge related to USAID’s work to help countries mitigate and adapt to climate change. 

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