|Our CHED-PHERNET project site in Inopacan, Leyte, showing the successful |
establishment of the Rainforestation site although at a very high cost
Some forest science experts still generally consider the assisted natural regeneration (ANR) as a better strategy to rehabilitate degraded lands because of its greater potential to rehabilitate vast areas of lands at a minimal cost.
Lastly, there is a widespread notion that many land owners are only interested to adopt Rainforestation in order to plant hardwood native trees which they could harvest and earn high profits in the future. The fact that a few of the original demonstration sites for the concept established in 1994 have already been harvested by the land owners supports this apprehension. Thus, some people doubt whether this will eventually lead to long-term forest rehabilitation in the country. This should be a big challenge to the Institute of Tropical Ecology and Environmental Management (ITEEM) and other institutions promoting the concept.
The author (V.B. Asio) has been actively involved in the development and evaluation of the Rainforestation concept from the 1990s until the present. He was a member of the Project Management Core Group of the ViSCA-GTZ Applied Tropical Ecology Project, and later was the first Head of the Terrestrial Ecosystems Division of the Institute of Tropical Ecology. The Core Group members were Dr. M.J.C. Ceniza, Dr. B.B. Dargantes, Dr. R.C. Guarte, Dr. J.M. Quimio, Dr. B.P. Germano & Dr. V.B. Asio.