2019 Annual Report

The year 2019 marks the halfway point of the Results Framework, which has the following objectives: grow forests, grow livelihoods, grow partnerships, and grow advocates. The Foundation continued to support projects that build capacities of organizations and create enabling environments for the sustainable management of forests in the focal landscapes of Sierra Madre, Palawan, Samar and Leyte, and Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental.

The Foundation also launched its first-ever Grant Portal, in line with its efforts to reduce paper consumption and facilitate efficient grantmaking.

Grant Program: Project Highlights

Monitoring Land Cover Change in Isabela

The Foundation awarded a grant to ESSC to produce an updated and detailed land cover assessment for the Isabela province in Sierra Madre, which has 406,828 hectares of forested areas. The project aims to produce land cover maps, to aid local government units (LGUs) in monitoring forests and land cover changes in the landscape. 

Initiating a Network of Indigenous Community Conserved Areas in the Central Sierra Madre Forests

The Foundation also supported Daluhay Daloy ng Buhay and its community partners for the formal declaration of territories with cultural and biological importance as Indigenous Community Conserved Areas (ICCA). These areas within the municipalities of Dilasag, Casiguran, and Dinalungan (DiCaDi) in Aurora cover approximately 88,000 hectares of natural forests. This project will strengthen forest ecosystem protection and ancestral domain management, implement sustainable livelihoods, empower the indigenous peoples’ organizations, and increase awareness on effective interventions in the ICCAs.

Enhancing Conservation Actions in Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape

The Foundation continued supporting the conservation of the MMPL in partnership with its Protected Area Management Board (PAMB). The MMPL is the largest terrestrial protected area in Palawan, covering 120,457 hectares of forests. It awarded a grant to ProSeeds, an organization of plant experts from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), to gather comprehensive information on species diversity in the MMPL.

Supporting the Establishment of Additional Protected Areas

Republic Act No. 11038, or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS), established 94 new protected areas in the Philippines in 2018. The Foundation, together with the DENR Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR – BMB) and Tanggol Kalikasan, developed the Implementing Rules and Procedures (IRR) of the Act. 

Promoting Urban Forests in the Philippines

The Foundation started working with the DENR-BMB, Philippine Association of Landscape of Architects, and Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners,  to promote the importance of urban forests for the health and overall well-being of urban dwellers. The group is developing a forest bathing program to conserve urban forests in Metro Manila and other areas in the Foundation’s focal landscapes.

Increasing Calamianes Resilience through Watershed Mapping and Management Planning 

The Foundation awarded a multi-year grant to CordAid Philippines to develop a model of community-led environmental, social, and economic resilience in about 3,000 hectares of ancestral domains in the municipalities of Tara, Buenavista, and Malawig in Palawan.

Leaders Empowered and Dedicated to Serve through the NGO Sector

The Foundation and the Association of Foundations, the country’s first network of NGOs, implemented the LEAD to Serve capacity building program. This supported 20 NGOs working on natural resource and environmental management, and ensured the development of their young leaders’ leadership competencies.

Enhancing Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM)

The Foundation joined the National Working Group on CBFM (NWG-CBFM) to help consolidate, assess, monitor, and coordinate efforts on CBFM. Its involvement led to the following projects: 

  • Project with the UPLB Foundation to produce an updated assessment of the CBFM as a national program. Dr. Juan Pulhin, a national scientist, leads the research efforts to gather and review the ASEAN Region’s best practices and learnings in sustainable forest management to guide the Philippine government in crafting its future policies.
  • Project with the Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) Asia to assess, engage, and ensure the recognition of CBFM in the country’s report on the nationally determined contributions (NDCs). This project will also capacitate partners on community-based resource management and ecosystem-based adaptation practices.

Supporting the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to advance common goals in forest conservation, as well as the protection of ICCAs and IP rights. 

Forest Conservation for the Public Sector 

The Foundation signed a MOU with the National Museum of the Philippines. This partnership  aims to support the generation and dissemination of knowledge on forest conservation for the public.

Contribution to National and Global Targets

The Foundation’s Results Framework ensured that relevant elements from previous development plans were incorporated into its projects. These plans include the Philippine Development Plan, Master Plan for Forestry Development, National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), Philippine Biodiversity Action Plan (PBSAP), and the Philippine National REDD-Plus Strategy (PNRPS). Halfway through the framework’s implementation, the Foundation saw the need to engage a consultant to ensure the framework’s alignment with these national plans and global targets. 

The Foundation also sits as an NGO Board Member of the Biodiversity Finance (BioFin) Initiative Project of the DENR-BMB and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). As a member, the Foundation shares its experiences and lessons learned on fund management, and its vision to sustainably finance protection and management of the country’s protected areas.

Continued Partnership with Tropenbos International

The Sustainable and Inclusive Landscape Governance (SILG) Program conducted one national and four landscape-based dialogues to foster new working relationships among civil society organizations, LGUs, academic institutions, and communities.

Best Friends of the Forest Movement (#BFFMovement) Anniversary

Together with Team Asia, grantee, the Foundation celebrated the first anniversary of the #BFFMovement through a quiz night. The #BFFMovement is a community of young advocates for forest conservation and protection. The Foundation aims to cascade the program to its focal landscapes in the coming years.

Anak TV Seal for Puno ng Buhay

The Foundation’s TV show project with Knowledge Channel, Puno ng Buhay, was awarded the Anak TV Seal. It is a symbol of child-sensitive, family-friendly television in the Philippines. Puno ng Buhay, an educational television show, discusses forest protection and conservation in elementary science subjects.

Dissemination of Advocacy Materials for 10th Anniversary of the MMPL

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Area Landscape (MMPL),  the Foundation supported the release of various materials to raise awareness for the protected area’s biodiversity value.

Administration of the Fund

Consistent with the TFCA 2 Agreement, the Foundation organizes the Board of Trustees’ meeting to discuss grantmaking concerns and review proposals. The BOT met four times in 2019.



No. of proposals received


No. of proposals approved

US$ 3,803,984

Total approved funding for grants

US$ 3,914,611

Total disbursed funding for grants

US$ 670,511

Total counterpart match


Total matching fund as % of approved grants

US$ 868,867

Amount spent on indirect costs

US$ 1,553,758

Interest and capital gained on investment

US$ 20,830,196

Fund balance at the end of the year