The Sustainable Forest Management Bill or SFM aims to ensure that there is enough forest resources for present and future generations.
With the decline of forests from the 1900s to today, our forests have become increasingly vulnerable to climate effects due to deforestation and overexploitation. This loss has led to depleted ecosystem services – or the benefits that forests provide us including food, water, clean air, clothing, shelter, and protection from calamities.
Unfortunately, loose implementation of existing policies failed to protect the country’s forests. Calls to update the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines were never met despite three decades of consistent campaigning. The need to revisit outdated policies is urgent.
We need a policy that will strengthen forest management and sustainability for the future. The Forest Resources Bill (FRB) network is composed of civil society groups who filed the FRB during the 15th Congress. It highlights the principles of using the functional definition of forests, protecting all remaining natural forests, implementing a watershed continuum management (or ridge-to-reef) approach, and promoting multi-sectoral governance.
The bill – now part of the Sustainable Forest Management Act – seeks to resolve contentious issues on forest management with the approval of an updated, responsive, and inclusive law.
Forests play a large part in the water cycle as they absorb water through their roots, releasing it from their leaves through transpiration, and preventing run off. Planting more trees not only ensures our water security, but it is also a great legacy we can leave behind for our future generations.
The following is a brief summary of what the bill includes (read a Primer on the SFM here):
The SFM contributes to national and international targets
The SFM contributes to the Philippine Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan or PBSAP, and the UN development targets established in the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.
The SFM supports the SDGs. See each goal and how the SFM supports them here.
See a full and detailed list of how the SFM contributes to both the PBSAP and SDGs here.
How you can help.
Read the complete Primer on the bill here.
On-going work for forest governance via the Forest Governance Project or FOGOP is supported by the European Union, in partnership with BirdLife International. Learn more about the FOGOP project here.