The Integrated Natural Resource and Environmental Management Program is designed to strengthen the climate resilience of upland mountain communities by addressing unsustainable watershed management, introducing sustainable forest management options such as agroforestry, commercial forest plantation, and conservation farming to enhance watershed integrity and restore its functionality to provide vital ecosystem services, sustaining supply of goods (e.g. wood, water, food, shelter, medicine). This is supposed to be achieved through i) enhancing private investments, viability and economic contributions of forest-based industry, ii) ensuring productive participation of various stakeholders and equitable sharing of benefits, and iii) institutional streamlining and capacitation.
For the implementation of INREMP, four priority river basins were selected:
- Chico River Basin in the Cordillera Administrative Region
- Wahig-Inabanga River Basin in Region 7
- Upper Bukidnon River Basin in Region 10
- Lake Lanao River Basin in Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao
Currently being implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), INREMP aims to address unstainable watershed management in these four priority river basins by reducing and reversing the degradation of watersheds and associated environmental impacts caused by deforestation and unstainable farming practices. It seeks to provide incentives to communities, local government units, and the DENR to improve natural resource management and to generate economic benefits through a) payments for environmental services (PES) including water regulation, soil conservation, carbon offsets, and biodiversity; b) income generation from sustainable use, management, and processing of timber and non-timber forest products; c) improved resource productivity; and d) improved climate resilience in the selected watersheds.
A key component of INREMP is the establishment of agroforestry farms to showcase economically viable, socially acceptable, and environmentally sound production systems. World Agroforestry (ICRAF) is well positioned to partner with INREMP in the establishment and management of these demonstration sites. It has been actively involved in watershed rehabilitation and development in the Philippines since 1993. Moreover, the lessons gained by ICRAF on its long experience in implementing PES-related projects could be used in developing financing mechanisms to ensure sustainability of agroforestry adoption and natural resource conservation in the river basins.
This will be done by providing technical assistance and capacity development support to DENR and its Community-based People’s Organizations (CBPOs) and Indigenous People’s Organization (IPOs) to support the development, implementation, and establishment of commercial forestry investment models to achieve the overall objectives of the INREMP. In particular, the program will focus on technical backstopping of a) the establishment of commercial forestry for the four upper river basins; b) development of sustainable financing schemes in the Cordillera Administrative Region and Region 10; and c) development of a framework for effective monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and reporting.
The above-described outcomes will be supported by developing the following five outputs:
- Generic commercial forestry investment sub-projects (CFISP) enhanced and implemented based on the interests of CBPOs and IPOs in line with the respective watershed management and investment plans
- Incentive structures and capacity building and training programs identified, agreed and implemented to support the effective implementation of CFISP models.
- Business cases for private financing, including technical and financial justifications and identification of suitable financing mechanism and investors, to support community investment in restoring ES, developed for CAR and Region 10.
- Effective M&E system to support the achievement of INREMP’s development outcomes developed and implemented
- DENR, CBPOs, and IPOs are equipped with strategic knowledge, evidence, and reliable tools for implementing the CFISP models through the implementation of an effective knowledge management strategy.