Country: The Philippines
Location: Samar Island
Year joined IMFN: 2000
Area of Model Forest: 87,536 hectares
Forest and resource profile
The Ulot Watershed Model Forest located in the south central portion of Samar Island, Philippines, is rich in forest (timber and non-timber) as well as other resources. The area is a designated centre for plant diversity and endemism (885 flowering plant species of which 406 are endemic). In 1996, the rainforests on Samar Island were declared a Forest Reserve to protect against commercial logging and exploitation, which had contributed to the loss of local timber revenues and increased tensions. Small-scale timber poaching, rampant kaingin (slush and burn farming) as well as unregulated collection of wildlife species were identified as additional causes of forest degradation.
Ulot Watershed has vast water resources. Its annual run-off of 815 million cubic meters is more than enough to provide for the area’s domestic water requirement of about 7.5 million cubic meters. Its total length of streams is 520 kilometers. There are known deposits of mineral resources such as copper, pyrite, bauxite, limestone, green tuff and manganese within the Ulot Watershed and its vicinity.
The main livelihood of the local communities is derived from various types of shifting cultivation (kaingin), now supplemented by harvesting of forest produce including rattan, bamboo, medicinal and culinary plants, fresh water fish and wild animals.
Why a Model Forest?
Conflicting policy interests in logging, mining and biodiversity conservation, plus the fragmented implementation of existing projects and a lack of funds to address these issues led to an interest in, institutionalizing best practices and improving SFM guidelines and policies. Options for sharing ideas, technologies, information and best practices on SFM with other Model Forests is a strong motivator.
Accomplishments to date
Forest Management Bureau
DENR, Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon city, Philippines
Office Tel: 63-02-925-2140