MC No. 2012-1 calls for indigenous species in protected areas, protection forests, mangroves and urban areas, plus a phased shift from exotics to indigenous tree in production forests.
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With only about 24% remaining forest cover, the Philippines is suffering from the widespread loss of ecosystem services, including biodiversity maintenance, carbon sequestration, watershed protection, and local communities’ ability to harvest timber and non-timber forest products. The diminished forest cover has also contributed to the intensification of a variety of ‘natural disasters’, including flash floods, water shortages, and landslides. The dominant approach to reforestation in the Philippines focuses on the planting of a handful of exotic timber species, like Gmelina, Mangium, and Mahogany, but has limited environmental and social benefits. Rainforestation, by contrast, aims to begin restoring the Philippine forests by using native tree species, including many species of Dipterocarps, while providing forest-dependent communities with additional sources of livelihood. Backed by the Rain Forest Restoration Initiative (RFRI), a network of national and international supporters, Rainforestation is a well-researched, cost-effective, and widely applicable method of planting native tree species in order to achieve a variety of management objectives.