Ulot Watershed Model Forest

Country: The Philippines
Location: Samar Island
Year joined IMFN: 2000
Area of Model Forest: 87 536 hectares
Regional Affiliation: Regional Model Forest Network for Asia

Contact information
Lourdes Wagan
Chief, Forest Land Uses Division
Forest Management Bureau
DENR, Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon city, Philippines
Office Tel: 63-02-925-2140
Ramon N. Calumbay
Senior forest Management Specialist
Forest Management Service
DENR, Region 8 and Project Manager
Ulot Watershed Model Forest
Sto. Niño Ext., Tacloban City, Philippines -6500
Office Tel.: 63-53-321-9071; Telefax: 63-53-325-7630

Forest and resource profile

The Ulot Watershed Model Forest located in the south central portion of Samar Island, Philippines, is rich in forest (timber and non-timber) as well as other resources. The area is a designated centre for plant diversity and endemism (885 flowering plant species of which 406 are endemic). In 1996, the rainforests on Samar Island were declared a Forest Reserve to protect against commercial logging and exploitation, which had contributed to the loss of local timber revenues and increased tensions.  Small-scale timber poaching, rampant kaingin (slush and burn farming) as well as unregulated collection of wildlife species were identified as additional causes of forest degradation.
  • Protected lowland dipterocarp forest - 20 %
  • Open and semi-closed secondary forest - 50 %
  • Brushland and cultivated areas - 20%
  • Private land - 10%
Ulot Watershed has vast water resources. Its annual run-off of 815 million cubic meters is more than enough to provide for the area's domestic water requirement of about 7.5 million cubic meters. Its total length of streams is 520 kilometers. There are known deposits of mineral resources such as copper, pyrite, bauxite, limestone, green tuff and manganese within the Ulot Watershed and its vicinity.
Economic profile
The main livelihood of the local communities is derived from various types of shifting cultivation (kaingin), now supplemented by harvesting of forest produce including rattan, bamboo, medicinal and culinary plants, fresh water fish and wild animals.
Why a Model Forest?
Conflicting policy interests in logging, mining and biodiversity conservation, plus the fragmented implementation of existing projects and a lack of funds to address these issues led to an interest in, institutionalizing best practices and improving SFM guidelines and policies. Options for sharing ideas, technologies, information and best practices on SFM with other Model Forests is a strong motivator.
  • National Government (multiple agencies) - 27%
  • Local Government Units (comprised of municipalities and communities) - 18%
  • People's Organizations and Cooperatives - 52%
  • NGOs -  1%
  • Philippine Army  -  1%
  • Academia  -  1%
Strategic goals
  • To develop community-based sustainable forest management practices consistent with the Community Resources Management Frameworks (CRMFs) of all the CBFMA people's organizations and other officially approved plans in the area forreplication in other parts of the region/country
  • To influence policy
  • To harmonize the production and protection functions of the forest ecosystem through sustainable forestry practices while providing benefits to the communities/stakeholders
  • To protect and conserve the remaining dipterocarp forests of Samar Island which will eventually enrich its wildlife, soil and water resources
  • To strengthen the capabilities of the stakeholders through collaborative management training, linking and advocacy with other groups, and sharing of costs and benefits of the project
Accomplishments to date
  • Prepared Ulot Model Forest Strategic Plan
  • Developed Ulot Model Forest Watershed Management Plan that will serve as a pilot project for all watersheds on the island
  • Prepared a monitoring and evaluation system
  • Delivered education, communication and outreach activities through production and distribution of printed materials, interpersonal strategy called Dalaw Turo (visit and teach), and broadcast media
  • Organized all stakeholders into a Federation and registered with the government's Securities and Exchange Commission 
  • Conducted capacity-building workshops (financial management, agro forestry, monitoring and evaluation, criteria and indicators of SFM, team building, vermi-composting)
  • Contributed to sustainable economic development initiatives (pili nut plantations)