In 2020, Forest Foundation Philippines and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Forest Management Bureau (DENR – FMB) forged a partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with the aim of improving the data ecosystem within the Philippine forestry sector.
In support of the MOU, Forest Foundation awarded a grant to Thinking Machines, a data science firm, to conduct technical assistance and coordination in the development of the said strategy roadmap. Several online activities were conducted in 2020, including design thinking workshops, in-depth interviews, and prototyping with forestry data stakeholders, such as DENR, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Non-Timber Forest Products – Exchange Program Philippines (NTFP-EP Philippines) Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and University of the Philippines Los Banos – Forestry Development Center (UPLB – FDC).
The proposed data strategy roadmap, presented last February 2021, is composed of recommendations on data platform development, improvement of organizational data systems, and capacity building activities. The DENR – FMB will harmonize such strategies in its existing plans and programs to enable a data ecosystem that can better support research, policies, decision-making, and advocacy.