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Rainforestation Implementation Process

The history of reforestation in the Philippines is littered with projects that fell short in achieving their objectives. Failure to resolve land tenure conflicts and fully engage local partners in the process needed to sustain the efforts have been major problems in many of those projects. In order to avoid this same fate, Rainforestation (RF) advocates have adopted a community-based implementing strategy (described in the flowchart below). In this scheme, the planting of the trees occurs only after a long period of consultation with all relevant stakeholders to ensure support for the development and sustainability of the RF site.

(Scroll the mouse over the individual boxes below to read a short description of that step in the RF implementation process. Please note: The black text applies to all RF sites, while the additional steps colored in red apply only to those sites where harvesting is permitted.)

Flowchart of Rainforestation Implementation Process Rollover image for short description of Advocacy and Community Organizing
Advocacy and Community Organizing:
Community empowerment is an essential component of Rainforestation (RF). During this phase, a RF trainer works closely with the community to gain an understanding of community needs and livelihoods, and how the community interacts with its natural resource base. The goal of this part of the implementation process is to assess which Rainforestation approach would be best adapted to the local setting.
Rollover image for short description of Community Consultation and Orientation Workshop on Rainforestation
Community Consultation and Orientation Workshop on Rainforestation:
At this stage, the RF trainer begins to introduce Rainforestation to different community groups through focused group discussions and/or an orientation workshop. Constant consultation is necessary to encourage a participatory approach, and foster a sense of community ownership and commitment to the program at this early stage in the implementation process. Local government units and sector leaders are also engaged to facilitate the development and implementation process.
Rollover image for short description of Training on Rainforestation
Training on Rainforestation:
The RF trainer provides trainings on the basic concept and techniques of RF to community leaders and potential members. This training covers the practical skills of establishing a nursery, gathering nursery stock, and designing and developing a RF site.
Rollover image for short description of Application/Identification of Rainforestation Cooperators
Application/Identification of Rainforestation Cooperators:
After the training, the RF trainer needs to ascertain who wants to move forward with developing the RF nursery and site. Voluntary commitment and willingness to adopt the RF approach are the major criteria in the selection process of RF cooperators.
Rollover image for short description of Formation and Registration of Farmers' Association
Formation and Registration of Farmers’ Association:
Experience has shown that organizing communities into Farmers' Associations is an effective way to keep the community members motivated and assure them that they will receive productive benefits from the projects. Codifying a division of labor and benefits-sharing scheme is an important part of a Farmers’ Association's constitution and bylaws.
Rollover image for short description of Site Identification, Assessment, and Farm Plan Preparation
Site Identification, Assessment, and Farm Plan Preparation:
A biophysical assessment of the proposed site is conducted by the RF trainer in order to identify the suitability or adaptability of the tree species to the site’s climatic, edaphic, physiographic, and biotic conditions. The active participation of the farmers’ association, peoples’ Organization, or other RF cooperators in the selection of species and farm design is also extremely important.
Rollover image for short description of Formulation and Signing of MOA/MOU
Formulation and Signing of MOA/MOU:
RF implementers typically enter a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the landowner, the individual or organization providing technical support, and the Local Government Unit (LGU). The MOA/MOU should outline the roles and responsibilities of each concerned party. To formalize and legitimize support, a separate MOA/MOU is often signed by the LGU and technical support provider.
Rollover image for short description of Farm Development
Farm Development:
Based on the site assessment and farm plan, socially acceptable and ecologically appropriate trees are selected. The site is prepared by clearing some of the existing vegetation and developing a planting design which is appropriate to the topography of the site, choice of tree species, site plan, and/or cultural practices. The digging of holes, hauling of planting materials, and the actual planting are carefully scheduled and organized. Planting is typically done during the rainy season to enhance recovery and survival of the seedlings. Generally, trees of the same species are not planted next to each other to avoid competition and pest outbreaks. The nutrient requirements and demands of the different trees and crops that will be used are also considered. Precautionary measures, such as the establishment of fire lines, are also taken into account.
Rollover image for short description of Farm Management and Performance Monitoring of Trees/Crops
Farm Management and Performance Monitoring
of Trees/Crops:

The first 6 months is the most critical period for the establishment and recovery of the seedlings. Hence, it is very important to visit the area frequently to monitor the performance of the trees, replace mortalities, and initiate weeding, pruning, or other enhancement practices when necessary.
Rollover image for short description of Tree Registration with DENR
Tree Registration with DENR:
After one or two years of farm development, registration of the trees with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources through its Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-CENRO) should be initiated so as to avoid confusion over the trees’ origin. This step gives the farmers security that they will be able to harvest the trees without legal complications thereafter. This step is only necessary if the RF site is within Alienable & Disposable (A&D) lands. (For more information, please refer to DENR Policy on Tree Registration.)
Rollover image for short description of Incorporation of Fruit Trees, Perennial and Agricultural Crops
Incorporation of Fruit Trees, Perennial and Agricultural Crops:
In establishing RF in agro-ecosystems, other economic crops can be integrated. In the first two years, cash crops, such as vegetables and root crops, can be grown along with the young trees. Later, shade-tolerant crops including yam, ginger, abaca (Musa textilis) and rattans, and fruit trees can be added. More enterprising farmers can grow orchids and ornamentals under the shade for cut-flower production, or can even integrate mushroom cultivation.
Rollover image for short description of Marketing Strategies
Marketing Strategies:
The choice of trees incorporated into the RF site will at least to some extent have been made in light of market demand for the various harvestable products (e.g., fruits, fiber, timber, or seedlings). In order to ensure that RF site developers benefit from the economic potential of those products, a marketing strategy is developed, which takes into account site-specific factors, such as the nature of the supply chain and the availability of transportation to markets. Tree seedlings, an important marketable product from RF sites, must be properly managed to ensure an adequate supply of planting material for local RF programs, while at the same time providing a source of income for the community.
Rollover image for short description of Harvesting
Harvesting:
Fruits and ornamental plants can be harvested whenever they are ready. Pioneer tree species, meanwhile, are harvestable once their trunks reach 50–60 cm in diameter. It is highly recommended that only 10% of trees are harvested per year and that two of the healthiest of each species are retained as a source for seeds or seedlings that may be sold or replanted in the farm.
Rollover image for short description of Replanting
Replanting:
Upon harvesting, seedlings are immediately planted in the gaps. Dead trees should also be replaced.