Climbing the Policy Chain: Ulot Watershed Model Forest Influences Forest Policy in the Philippines

An important objective of Model Forests is to create a dynamic link between policy and practice as a way to improve both. The Forest Management Bureau (FMB) of the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources is adopting and applying a strategic planning framework influenced by the Ulot Watershed Model Forest.

 
What has become known as the “Forestry Sector Logic Model” maps out a path toward sustainable management and use of Philippine forest resources by listing expected outputs, outcomes, and impacts of different management activities. The framework is being introduced to focus government efforts, improve efficiencies, effectively channel resources, and improve accountability.

M&E key to Model Forest development

The concept of the “logic model” was introduced to the Philippine government by Ulot Watershed Model Forest Director Romeo Acosta during an FMB strategic planning workshop held in March 2004.  Acosta first learned of the model during an impact monitoring and evaluation workshop conducted by the International Model Forest Network Secretariat (IMFNS) and co-sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in January of that year.
 
While monitoring and evaluation systems are important to any project to ensure that activities are achieving their desired impacts, for Model Forests they are particularly significant. These systems seek to satisfy a diversity of goals held by a large stakeholder group, and to achieve impacts in areas that are typically difficult to measure, such as partnerships, governance, policy influence, greater horizontal integration of planning and management, and reduced conflicts among stakeholders.  

A framework for SFM

A small group of individuals involved in the Model Forest, as well as technical personnel, prepared the initial draft of the Philippine model.  A review of relevant documentation along with a series of meetings and discussions were then conducted to finalize it. The model has since guided the Bureau in defining its role in the forestry sector, identifying its core functions and required competencies, and in revising the structure of the FMB.
 
For more information, please contact IMFNS Senior Project Officer for Asia Brian Bonnell.