Project Overview

Project Overview

why the projects?

The forests of Panay play an important role as watersheds, in climate control and as protection against erosion and landslides. They are also home of rare, endemic and ecologically important species. The work of PhilinCon includes conservation of the last significant stands of primary, low elevation rainforest in the entire biogeographic region of the West Visayas, located on the Northwest Panay Peninsula Natural Park. This forest is a seed bank for reforestation of areas already destroyed. The Northwest Panay Peninsula Natural Park is an area with a range of highly endangered, endemic species of frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals that makes it one of the highest conservation priorities in the world in terms of the number of endangered plants and animals per unit area, and the degree of threat these species confront.

Our Projects

Guarding of Nests

We hire nest guards to protect endangered birds like the Philippine Hornbills which are important seed dispersers in the forest

rescue centers

Rehabilitation and release of endangered wildlife in rescue centres in NW Panay: confiscated / donated birds and other endangered wildlife is rehabilitated till being able to fend themselves when released

Forest Rangers

To monitor the forests for illegal activities (timber poaching, wildlife hunting) rangers are being hired

Research

Research is driven by the genuine interest in the biology of threatened species to improve management conditions in the wild and understand the constraints imposed on survival in the wild. Moreover, it is motivated by the sheer desire to understand the functioning of complex ecosystem in a tropical setting of an archipelago that ranks first in the world in terms of biodiversity per unit surface area.

Livelihood projects

We give alternative lifestyles to people which do not want to be illegal loggers or hunters anymore. A number of livelihood projects (pig fattening, carabao breeding, poultry breeding, sloping agriculture, fruit and timber tree nursing / outplanting, high value cash crop planting) have been provided.

reforestation

We have seedling nurseries with 25.000 seedlings of native trees to be planted at the forests rim to win back the space of the forest. We also try to reconnect the forest areas.

biodiversity conservation

Direct and indirect support of biodiversity conservation in the Philippines is focusing most immediately on NW Panay and to a lesser extent on the Central Panay Mountains.
Identification and securing of additional support and linkages for conservation efforts on Panay.
Faunistic and floristic surveys. PhilinCon has extended the known range of over 75 species of animals by locating them on Panay, and discovered several new to science as a result of targeted surveys.
Rehabilitation and release of wildlife and also forest protection, reforestation and watershed management.
Identifying the peninsular forests as a genetic resource in terms of a seed bank for the propagation of indigenous trees and other native plants needed for the proper rehabilitation of degraded watersheds on Panay.
Research on components of biodiversity, and on the interrelationships of these components in terrestrial ecosystems, including studies of the ecological importance of species for the forest (for instance by seed dispersal). PhilinCon has published more than 90 scientific papers in (mostly) peer reviewed journals based on its activities in the Philippines.
Community-based work, adult and school conservation education projects, natural resource management and development, and the providing of small-scale livelihood projects which make local people independent of over-exploitation of natural resources. Livelihood projects include a contractual obligation by participants to commit to a conservation activity.
Rendering of services that complement and assist local institutions in interventions against the illegal, non-sustainable exploitation of wildlife and other natural resources such as hunting and logging. We facilitate and assist the training of forest rangers; the first FRs took their oath in 2002.
Cooperation with Ms. Gigi Bautista running the Pandan Beach Resort, Barangay Dionela, Pandan, Antique, engaged with eco-tourism in NW Panay. Offering nature tours through the NW Panay Peninsula and bird watching in Sebaste Municipality, the enterprise benefits the local stakeholders by employing them as guides, porters and other field personnel. Cooperation with Bristol Zoological Society has evolved recently.
Lobbying for the declaration of the forested areas of the Central Panay Mountains as protected under the National Integrated Protected Areas System. Building on the proclamation of the NW Panay peninsula as a Natural Park Area in 2001, networking with the DENR, LGUs, and provincial governments to promote the strategic declaration of the Central Panay Mountains as a Protected Area, too.
Conservation of the highly endangered Writhed-billed Hornbill (Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni), a species important as a seed-disperser. Support for this comes from both the North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo), the German Bird Protection Committee, the Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, GIZ, and others. Success: Forest and nesthole monitoring allowed to reduce the number of poached hornbill nests (brood and sometimes also females killed) from 50% earlier to 5% since 2001.
Organizing of the many levels of society and government institutions in fora that respond to the threats to nature and the natural resource base in the areas of their jurisdiction. This includes both LGUs and the Provincial Government, and is best manifested in PhilinCon’s facilitation of the NW Panay Biodiversity Management Council consisting of LGU Executive and other municipal representation, the DENR, and PhilinCon. This body is supplementing the later installed Protected Area Management Board in representing natural resource issues at the local and national level.

PhilinCon operates under the aegis of a Memorandum of Agreement with the DENR, and a Gratuitous Permit (GP), enabling us to collect specimens for research and study the relationships of the components of biodiversity. We maintain a research station at 460 m elevation in primary, old growth forest on the peninsula, presently staffed by 3 Filipinos (station officer and caretakers of hornbills), and research students studying various ecological, behavioral, and taxononomic aspects of Panay’s biodiversity.