PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES – The Forest Foundation Philippines and Tropenbos International, in partnership with the Wageningen University – Centre for Development Innovation and Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, organized the Philippine Landscape Governance Learning Program for over 30 stakeholders from the government, non-government and academic sector.
The learning program aims to promote sustainable landscapes in the Philippines by strengthening the capabilities of its stakeholders to be more effective in nurturing stakeholder collaboration, and understanding and influencing policies.
In recent years, forested landscapes in the Philippines have become increasingly integrated in the global processes of resource utilization, market development and trade. While this is a good opportunity, it also serves as a threat to local landscapes due to the increased competition on land and resource. Hence, the need for natural resource professionals to be capable in landscape management.
The program was organized as a learning journey, with the first training program scheduled in October. After the training program, participants are expected to apply their learnings in their respective professions and discuss their learnings with co-participants in online platforms from November to January. To close the program, a concluding workshop will be organized in January for the participants to share their experiences during the application of their learnings and deepen their understanding of landscape governance.
Ms. Wella Tatil, Assistant Professor IV at the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology shared her learnings from the program. “For an academe, the program is integral in terms of understanding our role in the landscape governance. In most cases, we do researches and come up with significant outputs but seldom transcend the facts to the community who might be needing it,” said Ms. Tatil. “Particular to our landscapes (Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte), there is still division with the scientific community and other stakeholders. Although the university (MSU-IIT) is now geared towards community development, the effort is still young and continuous learning to appreciate the need of merging scientific facts to landscape management in general is essential. Hence, this type of learning activity provide the academe an eye-opener to balance judgement based on scientific facts and actual scenarios on the grassroots.”
Another participant from the non-government sector, Mr. Brando Angeles, Project Development Officer II at the Laguna Lake Development Authority, shared that the program helped him understand the important roles of the various stakeholders in protecting the landscapes. “This method and framework to govern our forest landscape creates an understanding of the meaning of the forest landscape to resource users and inhabitants.”
Ms. Cornelia Jacoba van Oosten of the Wageningen University – Centre for Development Innovation served as the lecturer of the program. Ms. van Oosten is a human geographer, with over 20 years of international experience in natural resources management, landscape approaches, natural resource governance and participatory spatial planning.
The program is part of the Forest Foundation Philippines and Tropenbos International’s agreement to collaborate for the promotion of sustainable landscapes in the Philippines.