Post-training Brief: The Philippines completes national roll-out workshop on AFoCO project proposal development and produces three best project concept notes

The Philippines, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), just wrapped up its national roll-out of the AFoCO Online Training on Project Development and Proposal Writing last June 7-11, 2021, via Zoom application. As mentioned previously, the national roll-out aims to address the peculiarities, needs, and specific issues of the regions, contributing to the formulation and enhancement of forestry programs and policies

These specific peculiarities, needs, and issues surfaced during the exercise on concept note writing. The participants were divided by administrative regions and tasked to create concept notes based the specific needs of their regions. It was also recommended that the projects be aligned with their respective forest land use plans, integrated watershed management plans, and other available development plans to facilitate potential implementation.

In summary, there were a total of 15 concept notes were submitted: four (4) concept notes primarily targeted AFoCO’s Priority Area (PA) 1 ‘initiating customized restoration and reforestation models’; two (2) concept notes on PA-2 ‘supporting research & development in climate change adaptation approaches’; two (2) concept notes on PA-3 on ‘introducing systematic management on forest-related disasters’; six (6) concept notes on PA-4 ‘local livelihood improvement & community-based small enterprise development’; and one (1) concept note on PA-5 ‘strengthening institutional capabilities, diversifying resources, & promoting regional actions’.

As an added incentive to the participants, resource persons from the DENR-Forest Management Bureau (FMB) and DENR-Foreign Assisted and Special Projects Service (FASPS) selected the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Eastern Visayas Region (Region 8), and Caraga Region as the three best project proposals among the 15 training submissions.

The DENR-CAR’s proposed project is entitled, “Restoration and Maintenance of Burned Areas within the Province of Benguet, Cordillera Administrative Region,” and aims to address the core problem of high incidence of forest fires. The main objectives are to restore burned areas within the province and to intensify forest fire response and prevention through capacitation of DENR and other stakeholders. The DENR-CAR and DENR-FMB shall be the implementing agencies on activities such as plantation establishment and subsequent maintenance and protection in burned areas, organization and mobilization of stakeholders’ fire brigade, fire prevention through information and education campaigns, and establishment of fuel breaks, greenbelts, and other necessary infrastructure.

The DENR-Region 8’s proposed project is entitled, “Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) and Carbon Stock Valuation within Watershed Areas in Selected Provinces on Region VIII,” and aims to address the core problem of dormant development of existing secondary forests. The main objectives are to provide appropriate development interventions in the secondary forests, assess the economic value of the forests in terms of ecosystem and biodiversity, and strengthen forest protection efforts and provide non-forest-based income-generating projects through Community-based enterprise. DENR shall be the implementing agency to deliver outputs such as assisted natural regeneration/enrichment planting in secondary forests, economic valuation of the ecosystem through carbon stock assessment and valuation, and forest protection and analysis of non-forest-based income-generating projects.

The DENR-Caraga’s proposed project is entitled, “Disaster Risk Mitigation for Communities Vulnerable to Hazards,” and aims to address the core problem of 16 coastal municipalities and 1 city in the Province of Surigao del Norte exposed/vulnerable to storm surges, sea-level rise, tsunamis, and flooding. The main objective is to improve the resilience of communities to such disaster risks and reduce loss of lives and damage to properties and livelihood sources. The DENR-Caraga and the Provincial Local Government Unit of Surigao del Norte shall be the implementing agencies on outputs such as mangrove areas maintained and protected, early warning systems established, and infrastructures for disaster risk mitigation completed. Overall, the participants grasped and understood the process of formulating the concept notes. Given the short amount of time, the participants delivered well on their concept notes, with further improvement needed for consideration in the next project submission of the Philippines

Mr. Orlando Panganiban of the AFoCO, one of the resource persons of the workshop, discussed the process of proposal development, specifically on the problem identification process.

For. Nelissa Maria Rocas facilitated one of the workshop exercises on Stakeholder Analysis.

This article was contributed by Forester Nelissa Maria Rocas and Forester Ma. Carmina Canua from the Forest Management Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines, following the previous article posted on 7 June 2021.

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