The Forest Foundation Philippines recently supported a workshop for the Philippine Native Trees National Assessment Project (PhilTREES).
Led by Dr. Edwino Fernando, Vice Chairperson of the Philippine Plant Conservation Committee and Professor Emeritus at the University of the Philippines Los Banos, the PhilTREES project aims to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the conservation status of selected Philippine native trees.
As an initial step to this broad undertaking, the Foundation supported the conduct of a consultation workshop among the members of the Philippine Plant Conservation Committee and selected experts in the fields of plant taxonomy, botany, ecology and forestry to develop the design of the study.
Forester Eric Buduan, Senior Program Officer of the Forest Foundation Philippines, noted, “Despite the high number of native trees in the country, its conservation status remains poorly understood. Currently, according to experts, only around 20% of the threat status of the country’s native trees have been studied. A lot of our native trees have not been formally assessed and are currently not in the DENR National List of Threatened Plants or the IUCN Red List. Hence, the assessment of the conservation status of native trees is an urgent priority. This initiative will be helpful in planning for the conservation actions for the native trees and the protected areas.”
Moving forward, the team will implement the comprehensive assessment of the conservation status of more than 1,300 species of native trees in the next three years. The results of the study will serve as input to various plans and frameworks, which will not only contribute to the conservation of the trees but also of our forests.