Following the signing of agreements to facilitate the Second Round of Debt Treatment under the U.S. Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 (TFCA 2), the Philippine and U.S. Governments are in the preparatory stages for the utilization of the Second Tropical Forest Conservation Fund (TFCF) to strengthen tropical forest conservation efforts nationwide.
On July 18, 2013, Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima and former U.S. Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr., signed two agreements governing a new US$ 31.8 million (approximately P1.34 billion) “debt-for nature” deal, authorized under the U.S. Tropical Forest Conservation Act. The agreements will redirect approximately US$31.8 million in debt payments owed by the Philippines to the U.S. Government toward the conservation of Philippine tropical forests.
This Fund will be used to provide grants to conserve, maintain and restore key tropical forests in the country, particularly the Sierra Madre, Palawan Island and Bukidnon/Misamis areas, and Samar/Leyte, sites devastated by the recent Super Typhoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan).
The Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (PTFCF), an entity established by both governments to manage the First Tropical Forest Conservation Fund (TFCA 1), will continue to manage and administer the utilization of both the TFCA 1 and the TFCA 2. The Foundation will soon issue a request for nominees to fill in three seats for the Foundation’s Board of Trustees as well as announce a call for concept proposals to be funded under TFCA 2.
TFCA 1 has supported 261 conservation projects with US$4.5 million in grants. The projects improved the management of approximately 1.3 million hectares of forest lands, restored over 3,400 hectares of forests through the re-introduction of native trees and established 40 community-based conservation areas.
For more information on this please visit http://ptfcf.org.