Resource Details

Historical overview, Chapter 2 from "One Century of Forest Rehabilitation in the Philippines. Approaches, Outcomes, and Lessons"

Literature: Books or Book Chapters Available at NO COST

Juan M. Pulhin, Unna Chokkalingam, Rose Jane J. Peras, Romeo T. Acosta, Antonio P. Carandang, Mayumi Q. Natividad, Rodel D. Lasco and Ramon A. Razal. 2006. "Historical overview" in One Century of Forest Rehabilitation in the Philippines. Approaches, Outcomes, and Lessons, Chokkalingam, U., A. P. Carandang, J. M. Pulhin, R. D. Lasco, R. J. J. Peras, and T. Toma, eds. Bogor, Indonesia: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), pp. 6-41.




Book is available free of cost at CIFOR


  • This chapter provides a review of reforestation efforts in the Philippines, beginning with small-scale forest rehabilitation efforts since 1910. Reforestation was traditionally implemented by government and private companies, but since the mid-1970s, international funding has played an important role.
  • Change in national forest cover is explained, in addition to drivers of deforestation since the arrival of the Spanish in 1520 and a history of the logging industry in the Philippines. The first modern logging operations begin in 1904 (20-year renewable concession awarded to the Insular Lumber Company, for 300km2 dipterocarp forest Northern Negros). By 1940 there were 163 sawmills and various logging companies.
  • Rehabilitation during the colonial period is described beginning on page 14. The UP-Los Baños-College of Forestry and Natural Resources was established 1910, and by 1916 they had experimented with about 600 species in their nursery and plantation as part of silviculture classes. In 1916, the government ordered an effort to plant barren land (Act 2649). After evicting squatters, they planted 73% of area. However, the previous inhabitants returned, and, planted ipil ipil (Leucaena leucocephala).
  • In 1919, the Magsaysay Reforestation Project started in Arayat, Ilocos, and Zambales (Luzon).
  • In 1927, a cinchona plantation was established in Bukidnon (Mindanao), along with three other reforestation projects by 1931.
  • From 1910 to 1936, reforestation depended on limited government funding, which kept rehabilitation efforts to experimental plantings, small plantations, and studies on suitable species and seed treatment to hasten germination.
  • From 1937-1941, the government appropriated enough funding for scaling up activities. The Director of Forestry established a new office to inspect rehabilitation projects, and the Makiling reforestation project was established.
  • By 1939, 35 projects were planned for 535,000 ha, of which 27,000 ha were actually planted. In addition, nurseries with the capacity to produce 17 million seedlings were established on reforestation sites.
  • The earliest recorded scientific experiments on reforestation began in 1910; by 1914, UP-Los Baños had tested 120 species and identified suitable species for planting, and by 1916, they had tested 600 species.

Geographical Region

  • Insular Southeast Asia
  • Ecosystems

  • General
  • Country

  • Philippines
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    Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute