2021 Annual Report

Amid the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, Forest Foundation, together with its grantees and partners, continued to persevere towards sustained actions to protect, restore, and conserve the forests.  

Although grant development slowed down as proponents had difficulty engaging with stakeholders and getting endorsements and permits, Forest Foundation learned to be responsive and adaptable by making the most of the available resources to continue proposal validation and project monitoring activities. The Foundation also had to reprogram its grant funding to be responsive and adaptable to the challenges of the pandemic and the needs of its stakeholders.

Grant Program: Project Highlights

Mapping Land Cover Change in Quirino

The Foundation awarded a grant to Geographic Innovations for Development Solutions, Inc. (GRIDS) to map the land cover change in Quirino from 2015-2020, complementing the land cover mapping previously conducted in Isabela, and  completing the land cover mapping of a continuous forested landscape. The project was co-implemented by the LGU, PAMB of the Quirino Protected Landscape, indigenous communities, and local academic institutions.  

Capacity Building and Development of REDD+ Policies for Victoria Anepahan Mountain Range (VAMR)

Together with Center for Conservation Innovations (CCI) Philippines, a REDD+ feasibility study was completed in 2021, which accounted for ancestral domains within VAMR with potential to engage in a REDD+ framework. Likewise, a consortium project with IDEAS, NTFP-EP and ELAC kicked off the multi-year project that will strengthen VAMR communities as they embark on forest conservation activities.

Scaling-up Mangrove Conservation Beyond the Four Focal Landscapes

From 2017 to 2021, the Coalition of Municipal Fisherfolk Associations of Zamboanga Sibugay (COMAFZS), a federation established from the Foundation’s earlier projects, restored 247 hectares of mangrove and beach forests, and forged partnerships with mandated agencies for the continuous management and protection of mangrove forests throughout Sibugay Bay. This led to the recognition of COMFAZS leader, Mr. Roberto ‘Ka Dodoy’ Ballon, who was bestowed with the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for his community leadership.  

The Foundation also supported the Institute of Social Order (ISO), Inc., along with 5 fisherfolk organizations in Siruma, Camarines Sur, in rehabilitating around 97 hectares of mangroves in San Miguel Bay. The two-year project includes the rehabilitation of an additional 6 hectares of denuded mangroves and the piloting of a sustainable aquasilviculture learning site for San Miguel Bay.

Artisans for Sustainable, Inclusive, and Gender-Sensitive Forest Management

The Foundation worked with the British Council Philippines to facilitate partnerships and networks among women artisans and weavers in indigenous communities to champion indigenous knowledge systems and advocate for sustainable natural resource management.

Alternative Livelihoods for Forest Foundation’s Partner Communities

In response to the ecotourism downfall during the pandemic, the Foundation worked with Palamigan, Co. to support its partner communities, whose livelihoods were affected by the pandemic. A micro ice-plant was provided to Barangay Bogtong Bantay Gubat (3BG), a fishery and ecotourism-reliant community in Busuanga, Palawan,  to prolong the shelf life of their fish catch and support their tourism establishments. The Sohoton Service Cooperative (SSC), a community in Basey, Samar,  was also a beneficiary of the micro ice plant which augmented their livelihoods and enabled the continuity of their conservation efforts.

Catalyzing Community-based Enterprises Grant Program

Following the scholarship awarded to two graduate students of Entrepreneurship in Social Enterprise for Nation Building under the Catalyzing Community-based Enterprises Grant Program in 2020, the scholars have completed their respective programs in 2021 and are working on ecotourism services in the focal landscapes.

Supporting National Policies and Bodies for Sustainable Management of Forests

As an active member of the National Working Group on Community-Based Forest Management (NWG-CBFM), Forest Foundation partnered with the University of the Philippines Los Baños Foundation, headed by Dr. Juan Pulhin, to come up with a comprehensive assessment of the CBFM Program. The study, which concluded in 2021, recommended the co-development of a revitalized CBFM Strategic Action Plan for the next 25 years.

The Foundation also forged linkages with the DENR-FMB for the improvement of the data ecosystem within the Philippine forestry sector, which includes the development of a forestry data strategy roadmap, improvement of organizational data systems, and capacity building activities.

Expanding Conservation Efforts with the Private Sector

With the growing environmental consciousness in the private sector, the Foundation facilitated the transfer of an additional US $ 9,244 cash from private companies to community partners to co-fund tree growing activities.

  • Tree Growing with Cebu Pacific
    The airline provided additional funding to Miriam College’s Environmental Studies Institute’s ongoing grant to plant 5,200 native seedlings in Tanay, Rizal.

  • Mangrove Tree Growing with Origins
    The company provided funds to C3 Philippines’ existing grant with the Foundation. The support enabled the planting and maintenance of an additional hectare of mangroves in Busuanga, Palawan.

  • Singapore School Manila’s Environmental Advocacy
    Students from Grades 11 and 12 learned about the mangrove conservation activities of Forest Foundation’s grantee, Alliance of Bacman Farmers Association, Inc. (ALBAFAI). In return, the students created mangrove virtual tours that will serve as ALBAFAI’s promotional material.

Sustaining Special Partnership Projects

  • Sustainable and Inclusive Landscape Governance (SILG)
    With the success of the SILG project, the partnership with Tropenbos International was renewed with the aim of building upon past dialogues and partnerships with multi-stakeholder groups and implementing Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) initiatives.
  • Sustainable Interventions for Biodiversity, Oceans, and Landscapes (SIBOL)
    The Foundation initiated dialogues with local organizations, and conceptualized and finalized landscape scenario development projects and interventions for the SIBOL sites.\
  • Mount Mantalingahan Protected Landscape (MMPL) Endowment Fund
    After the completion of the first project under the MMPL Endowment Fund, an online workshop was organized to revisit, discuss, and recommend improvements to its Operations Manual to improve the grant delivery and management processes.

Promoting Environmental Education Despite the Pandemic

Through Teach for the Philippines, its grantee, Para sa Kalikasan workshops were conducted online and in-school, empowering students, teachers, and parents in Leyte, Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental to advocate for the protection and conservation of our forests. 

Amplifying the Conservation Message Online

Forest Foundation took the opportunity brought by the pandemic by strengthening its online presence and expanding its reach through various initiatives.

  • Understory Webinar Series
    A series of webinars where the Foundation shares its lessons learnt as it implements its grant programs. Watch the episodes here.
  • Gubatbp. Podcast Series
    A monthly podcast with its grantee, DRINK Editorial and Design, which highlights the interconnectedness of people, forests, and biodiversity. Listen to the podcast here.
  • Best Friends of the Forest Online Youth Fellowship Program
    A Fellowship program by the Foundation and its grantee,, that capacitates University students in becoming influential conservation advocates by providing access to learning materials and mentors.
  • Forest Products Online
    In partnership with PopStar PH, the Foundation launched the “Lokal pa rin malakas!” (Local products are great!) campaign to promote the forest products of the Foundation’s grantees on Facebook and Instagram.

Launching of Forests in the Anthropocene

The Foundation launched Forests in the Anthropocene: Perspectives from the Philippines, an interdisciplinary compendium of scholarly work by Filipinos, which documents lessons and provides insights on the interconnectedness of forests and mankind.

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 three times in 2021 and approved 31 grants. The board also had new developments in the past year.

  • The terms of Mr. Federico Lopez and Mr. Jaime Ayala ended. 
  • One new representative from the non-governmental sector,  Ms. Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, was elected to join the board.
  • The Board of Trustees elected its new set of officers: Ms. Edwina Garchitorena, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees; Ms. Maria Aurora Francisco-Tolentino, Secretary of the Board of Trustees; Ms. Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, Treasurer of the Board of Trustees; and Mr. Dennis Joseph Salvador, Chairperson of the Programs Committee.
  • Hon. Roy Cimatu continued his permanent appointment as Vice Chairperson of the Board of Trustees.


No. of proposals received


No. of proposals approved

$ 930,406

Total approved funding for grants

$ 1,518,792

Total disbursed funding for grants

$ 39,887

Total counterpart match


Total matching funds as % of approved grants

$ 358,920

Amount spent on indirect costs

$ 636,311

Interest & capital gained on

$ 20,301,420

Fund balance at the end of the year