Biodiversity and livelihoods benefit from agroforestry in The Philippines

Families that depend on the natural resources of the Mount Diwata Range Important Biodiversity Area in the Philippines are improving their livelihoods through agroforestry, while at the same time ensuring an important ecosystem is protected.

The Mount Diwata Range helps to preserve critical watersheds that feed several towns and flow into the rich fishing grounds of Lianga Bay. The range is home to indigenous peoples from the Mamanwa and Manobo tribes. But the area is now under threat from a combination of unsustainable forest management practices, timber poaching, the collection of non-timber forest products and land conversion.

An article in the Manila Times outlines how the Haribon Foundation ( partner of Birdlife International) together with the La Purisima Agroforestry Farmers Association (LAFFA) in La Purisima, Cagwait, Surigao del Sur have implemented an agroforestry project aimed at helping to improve the biodiversity of the area.

Forest-dependent communities are now undertaking agroforestry projects that are forest-friendly and non-destructive to the whole environment, including farming a combination of indigenous forest-trees species, abaca/manila hemp and bio-intensive gardening. The goal is for the communities to grow their own food an sell produce so that they are no longer reliant on the forest’s resources.

The project coordinators recognize that protecting the lives of the local people ensures natural resources are conserved.

Read the full story: Local communities unite to protect Mount Diwata Range IBA