Fostering forest governance research in the Philippines
In August 2023, the Explore Secretariat embarked on a mission to foster stronger partnerships, facilitate research and bolster collaboration on forest governance in the Philippines.
RECOFTC’s Executive Director, David Ganz, Explore’s Interim Program Manager, Sirichai Saengcharnchai and Explore’s Finance and Administration Officer, Warun Kmolpun, visited Explore grantees and senior leadership at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
During their visit, the RECOFTC team met with Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. and Vice Chancellor Rolando T. Bello at UPLB, introducing them to RECOFTC, the Explore program and the Explore-supported research projects. The purpose of this visit was to familiarize UPLB’s senior leadership with RECOFTC’s work and the significance of the Explore-supported research projects. It also aimed to encourage a cooperative environment for the research teams and explore potential collaborations between RECOFTC and UPLB.
Two principal investigators, affiliated with the College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR) at UPLB, secured research funding through the Explore Program in 2022. These grants were among seven awarded that year for research aimed at enhancing forest landscape governance in the Asia-Pacific region.
Dr. Leila D. Landicho, a researcher with CFNR at UPLB, leads a diverse team across Indonesia, the Philippines and Viet Nam. Their research focuses on community resilience in farming systems, gendered roles in agriculture, economic and ecological outcomes of agroforestry and the development of agroforestry strategies for socio-ecological production landscapes.
Similarly, Professor Dr. Rose Jane J. Peras, also with CFNR at UPLB, leads a multi-institutional team that is conducting research across Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. Their action research “Collaborative Forest Landscape Governance Towards a Resilient and Sustainable Future", aims to co-develop a model for collaborative forest landscape governance to guide forest landscape restoration in the Marikina River Basin in the Philippines, Way Betung Watershed in Indonesia, Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia and Phu Toei National Park in Thailand.
Dr. Juan Pulhin, a professor and former member of the Explore Program Advisory Committee, shared, "Inspired by Explore, the college is developing a forestry degree program focused on forest landscape governance.”
Dr. Pulhin expressed interest in inviting RECOFTC staff to deliver guest lectures, stating that the students would benefit greatly from lectures by seasoned professionals from RECOFTC.
The team also visited the UPLB Foundation Incorporated, an independent organization that plays a vital role in supporting the research teams by overseeing administrative and financial operations.
Explore is a research network and community of practice dedicated to expanding and applying knowledge on forest landscape governance in Southeast Asia. The network is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). It is hosted by RECOFTC, in partnership with the CIFOR-ICRAF, in collaboration with universities, research institutes, governments, civil society organizations, local communities, and the private sector in Southeast Asia.
For more information about Explore, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To become a member of Explore, visit recoftc.com/projects/explore/about-explore.
RECOFTC’s work is made possible with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.