Tremendous pressure has been put on key biodiversity areas in the Philippines, which face threats from both human economic activities and conflicting natural resource management mandates. While the government of the Philippines has implemented a number of policies to address the consequences of forest destruction, including loss of biodiversity, natural disasters and environmental degradation, these policies haven't effectively addressed the root of the challenges facing Philippine forests.
To tackle these underlying threats, EnterpriseWorks/VITA, a division of Relief International (EW/RI), has been working in the Philippines for 20 years, with an emphasis on balancing biodiversity conservation and economic development with improved natural resource governance. Since 1999, as part of USAID's Global Conservation Program, EW/RI has worked to advance biodiversity conservation approaches that contribute to poverty alleviation and advance the specific needs of women, indigenous people and other marginalized groups.
To date, EW/RI's natural resource management program has assisted communities in conserving over 300,000 hectares of Philippine forest that hold globally significant biodiversity and provide life-giving ecosystem services, such as water, soil, climate change mitigation, food and medicine. Through an innovative supply chain approach, the program aims to involve everyone in forest conservation endeavors, from communities and the government to consumers and the private sector.
Building upon these successes, EW/RI is implementing the Emerging Champions for Biodiversity Conservation and Improved Ecosytem Services (ECBCIES) project with funding from the European Union. This initiative works to conserve three key biodiversity areas in the Philippines through the provision of support for "emerging champions," or prominent municipal and provincial multi-stakeholder groups that have a shared mission to conserve biodiversity, promote economic development and protect ecosystem services.
On November 8, 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines. Its devastation left millions displaced and destroyed more than one million homes. In response, RI immediately deployed its Rapid Emergency Deployment (RED) Team to the hardest hit areas to ensure survivors received urgent primary medical care.
Currently, RI is scaling up its recovery efforts and implementing water, sanitation, and hygiene activities to assist families in Tacloban City and the surrounding region. Also, Haiyan had a severe effect upon agriculture, particularly for the country’s coconut production. To prevent future devastation, RI plans to launch projects that work with local communities to replant coconut using an intercropping scheme to strengthen the coconut trees’ resistance to high winds.
Philippines - Current Programs
Philippines: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Assistance for Typhoon-Affected Families in Leyte
RI is providing access to clean water, sanitation facilities and hygiene awareness education to children and families in Leyte. Learn More...
Philippines: Providing Primary Medical Care to Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan
In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, RI's Rapid Emergency Deployment (RED) Team provided primary medical to survivors. Learn More...
Biodiversity Conservation through Management of Natural Resources
This project aims to promote effective management of natural resources and delivery of environmental services, enforce environmental laws, and broaden opportunities for sustainable enterprise development. Through these activities, Philippine communities can avoid the adverse effects of poor natural resource management, including natural disasters, the loss of biodiversity, and environmental degradation. Learn More...