Tree adoption in the North-East Philippines uplands: Analysis of a GO-NGO partnership

Cecilia B. Mangabat, Denyse J. Snelder*, Wouter T. Groot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In recent decades, the Philippines have put much effort into designing strategies for motivating upland communities to plant trees. The accomplishments of these programs have been variable, however, and need further investigation. Focusing on five villages located in the uplands in north-east Luzon, this paper assesses the response to a government program that supplied tenure security to upland farmers in exchange for tree planting, implemented through an NGO project that supported farmers with advice, logistics and free seedlings. Response was measured as the percentage of households that joined the program, the percentage of their lots that they submitted for tenure contract and the percentage of these lots that were actually planted with more than 50 trees. The resulting overall tree adoption rate was that 22% of the lots in the villages had been planted, with a variation of 15-35% between villages. Main motivational factors were the land tenure prospect and the perceived stable markets for fruit and timber. Farmers were not only motivated but also capacitated, both financially and in terms of the bureaucratic procedures, by the NGO project. Without these, the government program could only have benefited the few well-off and educated farmers. The case study stands, therefore, as an example of effective government-NGO partnership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-478
Number of pages16
JournalSmall-scale Forestry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2009


  • Project assistance
  • Tenure security
  • Tree plantation
  • Upland communities


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