Lawin Patrollers in the Philippines serve in more functions than just forest patrols. They documents violations, prepare reports, participate in apprehensions, and help educate communities where illegal forest activities are rampant. USAID and the Philippines' Department of Environment and Natural Resources have developed an innovative system to aid the forest patrollers in doing their job. Lawin Patrollers are determined to fulfill their duties in order to contribute to forest protection.
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USAID’s Clean Cities, Blue Ocean (CCBO) program – the agency’s flagship program for combating global ocean plastic pollution – is providing economic recycling incentives and reducing emissions from transporting to distant recycling markets. The program grantee, the Plastics Credit Exchange (PCX), is implementing the Aling Tindera Network, a local waste to cash system to enable community members to sell plastics to local, women-owned businesses in exchange for cash. Recyclables are then routed directly to local, responsible recycling facilities. Supporting the creation of a market for ubiquitous community plastic waste also reduces the environmental impacts of plastics, helps to clean up communities, and puts cash back in the pockets of community members. In just two weeks, one USAID-supported Aling Tindera partner, Aling Janine (pictured here), not only diverted over 800 kilograms of plastic waste away from the streets of Barangay 161, but has also helped her neighborhood find ways to make extra income while cleaning up.
Samuel is an ex-combatant who was part of a communist rebel group in the Philippines. To him, the days of intense fighting between the rebels and the military are a grim reminder of the senselessness of war.
He is among the forest guards that the DENR, through the USAID B+WISER program, trained on forest protection using the Lawin system. With the mobilization of Samuel and his fellow forest guards as Lawin patrollers, the DENR was able to strengthen forest protection in the region and expand patrol coverage to other identified hotspot areas in the Cordilleras. Samuel says that as forest guards, he and his team patrol the forest very strategically. “We have lived in the mountains for the longest time. We know where the illegal activities are happening and the possible areas where they can also happen,” he said confidently.
When he was still young, Emiliano used to trek through the forests of Mt. Kitanglad with his father. In one of their excursions, they spotted an eagle. Emiliano told his father that they should shoot it, but the latter vehemently refused and warned him that if they killed the eagle, they would anger the spirits. The Talaandig tribe, to which Emiliano’s family belongs, believe that bad luck would befall a family if any member killed anything that lives in the forest. Since then, Emiliano vowed to protect the eagles for the rest of his life, and part of this mission is protecting the forests where the eagles live.
His dedication to protecting eagles, and the fact that he had seen all six living Philippine eagles in the mountain, earned him the title “Eagle Master” among his peers. In one of his forest patrols in early 2018, Emiliano discovered his seventh eagle, then estimated to be about three months old. He named the young raptor “Pamarahig”, a local word which means “plea”, to resound his earnest request: “I am reaching out to the world that we should protect forests and wildlife.” For Emiliano, Pamarahig symbolizes this very important message.
William Sanico resides in a barangay (village) in Bago City, Negros Occidental, that is located within the buffer zone of Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park. He is a special kind of farmer. He farms green charcoal for a living.
In the province of Negros Occidental, the popular local grilled chicken dish called “inasal” drives the demand for charcoal and fuelwood. Because of this, locals would cut trees inside and around the park to produce and sell charcoal as their means of livelihood..
USAID B+WISER helped the city expand and realign this initiative to also mitigate deforestation due to charcoal making and timber poaching, and increase awareness on forest conservation. The program also helped Bago City develop a payment for ecosystem services mechanism to generate funds to support this program and other forest and watershed conservation activities.
Today, William is among over 100 farmers supported by this USAID B+WISER Project-enhanced project, benefitting from environmentally sustainable livelihood and improved income, while also helping alleviate deforestation and advocating forest protection and conservation.
Participating in this agroforestry program, William is happy. Not only is he able to provide for his family, he is also helping save the remaining forest of Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park.
USAID’s Clean Cities, Blue Ocean program works to combat ocean plastics pollution and reduce waste-linked climate impacts by improving local waste management systems and recycling. In the Philippines, USAID is working to build supportive and sustainable enabling environments for circular economies that can mitigate climate change and adapt systems in response to actual and expected climate effects. Through its grantee, Project Zacchaeus (PZC), USAID is empowering informal waste collectors, known as “Eco-Warriors,” to build skills, foster leadership, and increase safety protections and livelihood opportunities while improving community waste services that reduce plastic pollution and reduce waste-linked greenhouse gas emissions. One of the Eco-Warriors, pictured here, is dressed in personal protective equipment provided by PZC's grant under CCBO during the Spring of 2021.
Waste is an overlooked and significant contributor to the climate crisis. Product manufacturing, distribution, as well as managing the resulting waste after its use, all result in GHG emissions and contribute to global climate change. USAID’s Clean Cities, Blue Ocean (CCBO) program – the agency’s flagship program for combating global ocean plastic pollution – works to empower women in the solid waste management sector, who have a sizable impact on reducing global ocean plastic pollution and lessening waste’s impact on climate change as they work around the world to capture and prevent waste from leaking into the environment and put plastics back into the circular economy.
CCBO program grantee, Project Zacchaeus, works to empower women and youth as ocean plastic pollution and climate leaders in their communities. Taken in the Spring of 2021 in Puerto Princesa City, Philippines, a waste collector and grant participant, or "Eco-Warrior," poses with aggregated waste from her community.
USAID’s Clean Cities, Blue Ocean (CCBO) program – the agency’s flagship program for combating global ocean plastic pollution – eliminates plastic pollution directly at its source, working at the local level to fix land-based waste management systems and institute more sustainable, resilient practices. Current systems not only perpetuate environmental plastic leakage—amounting to an estimated 8 million tons of plastic flowing into the ocean each year—but fuel other real and serious impacts, including growing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change. The Philippines-based non-profit and CCBO grantee, Communities Organized for Resource Allocation (CORA), helps to transform single-use plastics and other waste gathered at coastal clean-ups (pictured here) into new and recycled products to reduce plastics pollution and waste-linked emissions in the Philippines and increase awareness in local communities.
Bae Inatlawan, also called Adelina, devoted herself to leading her people in protecting the sacred mountain. “I teach the younger generation about our culture and how important it is to protect the forest,” she said. She believes that for her community to thrive in a modern world, culture and development must go hand in hand. With Bae at the helm, the tribe partnered with the Philippine government, NGOs, the development sector, and other Mt. Kitanglad tribes to protect the forests in their ancestral domain and advance the educational enlightenment of Kitanglad’s indigenous youth.
A woman from the Quezon municipality of Palawan Province in the Philippines brings home durian tree seedlings to begin her agroforestry venture. Despite having wealth in forest resources, Palawan’s Indigenous communities are often economically impoverished. Without viable options to build economies based on sustainable natural resources use, community members often resort to activities that harm forests, such as wildlife trading, poaching, and extending rice farming into natural areas. These and other unsustainable activities have helped make Palawan province one of the highest emitters of forest carbon emissions in the Philippines, releasing 5.26 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually between 2013 and 2017. USAID Protect Wildlife demonstrates how improved management and zoning of forests and protected areas, in addition to the adoption of nature-based livelihoods, can stimulate economic benefits while restoring forest cover in critical watersheds. By supporting adoption of agroforestry practices over 1,000 hectares, Protect Wildlife will help sequester an estimated 31,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Members of Malatgao United Riverside Farmers Association in Quezon municipality, Palawan province received their high-quality durian seedlings from the USAID-funded Protect Wildlife project in the Philippines. They are among the 600 local and indigenous farmers who were trained and engaged by USAID Protect Wildlife in 2019 to plant 44,000 durian seedlings in approximately 400 hectares of forestland in southern Palawan. This agroforestry and conservation agriculture initiative is a way for USAID to provide incentives to farmers who agree to plant high-value fruit trees in forestlands and buffer zones classified as production areas. When successful, this can contribute to increased tree cover in their area, enhanced climate resiliency through healthier forests, and improved conservation of local biodiversity.
Farmers in Quezon municipality, Palawan province are excited to start their own agroforestry ventures through the assistance provided by USAID, through its Protect Wildlife project in the Philippines.
They are among the 600 agroforestry beneficiaries in southern Palawan trained by USAID Protect Wildlife on site preparation, planting, management, and maintenance of their fruit trees intercropped with vegetables, as well as sustainable and biodiversity-friendly farming practices. In 2019, the project distributed 4,000 durian tree seedlings for planting in approximately 400 hectares of forestland. This 2020, USAID Protect Wildlife will be training 1,500 households in southern Palawan and is scheduled to distribute 120,000 seedlings of other high-value tropical fruit trees, such as lanzones (Lansium parasiticum) and rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum).
A great alternative to resource-intensive and emissions-heavy agriculture, climate-smart agroforestry, when done right, can help restore forests and watersheds that boost carbon sequestration, while also enriching local biodiversity.
A farmer in Quezon municipality, Palawan province is excited to start his own agroforestry venture through the assistance provided by USAID, through its Protect Wildlife project in the Philippines.
The project's agroforestry and conservation agriculture activities in southern Palawan is a climate-smart and biodiversity-friendly initiative to get local farmers, indigenous villages, and rural communities engaged in farming practices that are both sustainable and economically viable.
A great alternative to resource-intensive and emissions-heavy agriculture, agroforestry, when done right, can help restore forests and watersheds that boost carbon sequestration, while also enriching local biodiversity and ensuring food and nutritional security.
Genie Abao (in photo), officer of Malatgao United Riverside Farmers Association in Quezon municipality, Palawan province and an indigenous Palaw'an leader of his community, is one the recipients of high-quality durian seedlings from the USAID-funded Protect Wildlife project in the Philippines.
The project rolled out an agroforestry and conservation agriculture initiative for its partner communities in Palawan to engage them in planting high-value fruit trees, like durian, which will not only increase tree cover in their forestlands and contribute to enhancing carbon sinks, but also provide livelihood opportunities for rural families.
Indigenous women farmers in Bataraza, southern Palawan, Philippines, plant upland rice in now-controlled slash-and-burn areas. Bataraza is a municipality nestled in the foothills of Mount Mantaligahan, 140 km south of Puerto Princesa City in Palawan, Phiippines. Within the vast Mount Mantalingahan mountain range lies the Mount Mantalingahan Protected Landscape. Covering 120,457 hectares of forest, this protected area serves as the headwater of 33 watersheds and is home to many highly-endangered wildlife species. In terms of farming, slash-and-burn agriculture has been used by the local communities for many generations, but its effect in today’s diminishing state of natural resources has been destructive and unsustainable. The USAID-funded Protect Wildlife Project, in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, is helping indigenous people improve upland farming and strengthen local livelihoods so they won't need to expand their slash-and-burn areas or resort to wildlife poaching just to make ends meet. These women farmers have been taught the proper upland farming techniques, such as using a minimum land area for inter-cropping of vegetables and fruit trees. Slash-and-burn agriculture causes deforestation, accidental fires, habitat and species loss, increased air pollution and the release of carbon into the atmosphere, which contributes to global climate change. Photo taken in Palawan, Philippines on June 18, 2019.
The Pasig River runs through the heart of Manila and flows from Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay. The river was a major source of water, food and livelihood and offered an alternative mode of transportation. In the 1990s, Pasig River with all its garbage and foul odor, was declared biologically dead. Rehabilitation efforts started after the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission was created in 1999. The photo shows a section of the Pasig River two decades after rehabilitation.