Resource Details

Human ecological questions for tropical restoration: Experiences from planting native upland trees and mangroves in the Philippines

Literature: Journal Articles

Walters, B.B. 1997, "Human ecological questions for tropical restoration: Experiences from planting native upland trees and mangroves in the Philippines.", Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 99, no. 1-2, pp. 275-290.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author:


  • Department of Human Ecology and Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolution, Cook College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903, USA


Forest Ecology & Management

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  • In this article, the author takes evaluates the human ecology, or the integration of social and environmental study, of reforestation in the Philippines under the Bais Bay Development Action Program.
  • Reforestation is considered both in upland riparian areas as well as coastal mangrove areas.
  • In the upland habitat, eight villages that had cut all or many of their natural forests were invited to be part of the Bais Program.
  • The original plan was for a handful of community leaders to interact with Program staff to become the village cooperators in the tree planting program.
  • They were to coordinate the efforts to collect seed from remnant forest patches, raise trees in nurseries run by the village members, consult with villagers to gather support, and coordinate the planting of trees.
  • The author describes that the actual planting had mixed success depending on the village. In some cases, village leaders were not well liked or did not actively engage with the community.
  • In other cases, flash floods, dessication, grazing, crowding with other crops, and road building caused mortality of newly planted seedlings.
  • The restoration efforts that were most successful were ones in which the cooperators were committed, technically able to do the tasks, and able to gain the support of the wider community.
  • Learning from these issues, the program engaged in a different strategy for promoting soil and water conservation - offering training workshops and demonstrations with farmers in the communities.
  • Although there was still variance in the villages' success, the soil and water component with the intensive group training and community promotion was more successful for the tree planting which trained and depended only on the village leaders.
  • Similarly, in the mangrove planting, planting was more successful when the social organization of the community was taken into consideration.
  • The author provides a checklist of questions that should be used to guide restoration efforts.
  • These questions address 1) economic impacts, 2) land-use, resource management, and tenure, 3) local knowledge, skills, and customs, 4) local social organization and institutions, 5) government administration, policies and capacities.

Geographical Region

  • Insular Southeast Asia
  • Country

  • Philippines
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