April 18, 2023

Forest Foundation Inks Partnership with Visayas State University and Yale University to Advance Forest Conservation Leadership in the Philippines

Forest Foundation Philippines signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Visayas State University (VSU) to support the implementation of Yale University’s Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative (ELTI) Program in the island of Leyte. 

Since 2008, VSU’s Institute of Tropical Ecology and Environmental Management (ITEEM) has been in collaboration with Yale’s School for the Environment to support tropical forest conservation and restoration efforts through field-based training programs designed to capacitate people involved in land rehabilitation using rainforestation techniques.  

Developed in the 1990s, rainforestation is an agroforestry approach to reforestation, which uses native tree species to restore ecosystem functions and services, and rehabilitate degraded landscapes. This was conceptualized and established by VSU, together with the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), as a way to integrate sustainable food production with biodiversity protection and balanced ecosystem functions.

Through this collaboration, more in-depth training programs are in store for people and organizations interested in pursuing biodiversity conservation and forest restoration efforts that support the sustainable utilization of natural resources and community-based livelihoods.

The Foundation will also mobilize its network to encourage more participants and support the development of more learning sites. It will also monitor and evaluate the rainforestation activities of the program’s alumni to  document lessons learned on rainforestation.

Yale-ELTI conducts online and onsite trainings in various field demonstration sites in Leyte.  Their courses include biodiversity conservation, watershed restoration, food production and livelihood development on non-timber forest products, biophysical analysis and biodiversity monitoring using GIS/drone technology and Reduce-Inducing Sustainability Evaluation (RISE) tool for on-farm sustainability monitoring, and Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR), among others.

About Forest Foundation Philippines:

Forest Foundation Philippines is a non-profit organization that provides grants and technical assistance to organizations that empower the people to protect and conserve forests.

About Visayas State University:

Visayas State University is a globally competitive university for science, technology, and environmental conservation. Its mission is to develop highly-competitive human resources, cutting-edge scientific knowledge and innovative technologies for sustainable communities and environments.