Forest Foundation Philippines finds a staunch ally in the National Museum of the Philippines in its mission to protect and conserve the Philippines’ forests. On March 30, 2023, Forest Foundation Executive Director Atty. Jose Andres Canivel, together with National Museum Director-General Jeremy Barns, inked its second Memorandum of Understanding, signifying more exciting years for forest conservation.
Taking root in 2019, the partnership has brought together impactful projects that communicate the importance of science to the public, such as the Mobile Museum Boxes, which documents Visayas’ rich biodiversity. The project reached over 10,000 people, especially young students, as it was exhibited in various museums and academic institutions in the region.
The partnership also facilitated the implementation of Tuklas Kalikasan, a program that brings communities together to learn about the National Museum’s work in taxonomy, geology, and environmental conservation. In particular, Tuklas Kalikasan Eastern Samar documented the cultural and natural heritage of Eastern Samar, grounded on local and traditional knowledge, which helped enrich the public’s understanding of forests.
In 2023, together with the Philippine Taxonomic Initiative, another series of Tuklas Kalikasan was staged. Tuklas Kalikasan Palawan focused on the unexplored ecosystems and localities of the Mt. Victoria Anepahan Mountain Range (VAMR), particularly in Brgy. Estrella, Narra, Palawan. This resulted in the development of an initial inventory of biodiversity in VAMR. It convened a week-long seminar-workshop to demonstrate field techniques, such as flora documentation, aquatic fauna collection, and rock sample collection, and share the results of its assessments and possible collaboration with the participating mandated agencies and relevant stakeholders.
“This is totally the National Museum coming alive, bringing the museum beyond its walls,” Director General Barns exclaimed. “We’re always looking for different ways to push the advocacy and appreciation of our biodiversity.”
Atty. Canivel added, “We are fortunate to partner with the National Museum of the Philippines, in both generating science and communicating the value of science to our partners and communities. Of interest as well is the nexus between science and art in promoting knowledge and biodiversity.”
In the coming years, the collaboration will focus on science communication by delivering action-oriented research results creatively to the public, and cultivating learning spaces that will enable the integration and institutionalization of forest conservation knowledge and capabilities.
Among the roster of highly anticipated projects are the Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape Arboretum of endangered and endemic species, digitization of herbarium specimens, and expeditions in the Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape Signapan Valley and Eastern Samar small Islands.
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 National Museum of the Philippines:
The National Museum of the Philippines is an educational, scientific, and cultural government institution that acquires, documents, preserves, exhibits, and fosters scholarly study and public appreciation of works of art, specimens, and cultural and historical artifacts representative of the unique cultural heritage of the Filipino people and the natural history of the Philippines.