A study on existing benefit-sharing mechanisms in the Philippine community-based forest management is under way to look into how CBFM-People's Organizations (CBFM-POs) manage the distribution of benefits as influenced by community characteristics and social structures, among others.
The research project is financed by the ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF) Strategic Response Fund (ASRF), which is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and administered by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).
The Philippine government adopted CBFM as the national strategy to achieve sustainable forest management, biodiversity conservation and social equity. A key component in the design and implementation of CBFM is the provision of socioeconomic benefits to community members—such as employment, dividends from project profits, capacity building and strengthening of social networks.
Implemented by the Forest Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the project examines the relationship among local government institutions, communities and CBFM programs on benefit-sharing mechanisms.
The project is expected to develop policy recommendations consisting of a menu of benefit-sharing mechanisms that CBFM-POs may adopt. It will also serve as guide for DENR Field Office personnel to effectively assist CBFM-POs.
Nine CBFM-POs are being documented by the project. Three are in Luzon: Tao Kalikasan Foundation of the Philippines in Labo, Camarines Norte; LBN Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Vintar, Ilocos Norte; and Caunayan Multipurpose Cooperative in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.
Two are in the Visayas: Nalundan United Farmers Association Inc. in Bindoy, Negros Oriental, and Katilingban sang Pumuluyo nga naga-Atipan sang Watershed sa Maasin in Maasin, Iloilo.
The rest are in Mindanao: San Isidro Upland Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative in Santiago, Agusan del Norte; Limatong Dalumangkom Bual Farmers Multipurpose Association in Pigcawayan, North Cotabato; Malakiba People's Improvement Multipurpose Cooperative in Davao City; and Imbayao Community-based Forest Management People's Organization in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
A technical working group has been created for the project. Documentation tools that include key informant interview guide as well as guide questions for focus group discussion and video documentation, as well as a stakeholder-friendly primer on benefit-sharing have been developed.
Field documentation was already conducted in the two Visayas sites and the Davao City site.
The results of the field documentation will be packaged into a set of policy recommendations through a series of consultation meetings and workshops.
The output of the SEARCA-ASRF project will be presented in a national workshop to further draw inputs and recommendations from CBFM-POs regional representatives, regional CBFM coordinators, and other CBFM stakeholders or practitioners, such as civil-society organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and academe, among others.