| Livestock and poultry production |
|Current program thrusts in upland development|
Initiated about a decade ago, the ISFP draws strength from the DENR Upland Development Program (UDP) started by the Bureau of Forest Development in 1980 which was aimed at distilling lessons and developing methodologies for participatory management of the uplands. The ISFP incorporates the best features of three people-oriented forestry programs implemented in the 1970's, i.e., Forest Occupancy Management, Communal Tree Farming and Family Approach to Reforestation. The major features include granting long-term tenurial arrangements to qualified applicants, technical and modest material assistance and institution building aimed at developing capability for community-based resource management.
ISFP addresses the twin problems of rural poverty and ecological stability in occupied forest lands. Through ISFP, forest land occupants are provided secure access to land as well as technical and material aid to make the land productive without depleting it. Secure land tenure comes through either the Certificate of Stewardship Contracts (CSCs) for individuals, or the Community Forest Stewardship Agreements (CFSAs) for community organizations. In both cases, farm families are granted renewable 25-year leases on the public land which they occupy and cultivate. In the first years of the lease, the farmer receives technical assistance for developing selfsufficiency and sustainable farming practices.
The program provides assistance in the areas of agroforestry, land tenure and community organizing. Community organizing is applied to mobilize groups to obtain stewardship contracts, promote agroforestry and soil/water conservation and build local institutions. ISFP emphasizes improvement of existing farmer practices, not introduction of new ones except in situations where such may be necessary. Participatory strategies are used to gather data, diagnose field situations and monitor technical problems. Farm visits and training courses develop farmers' skills in agroforestry and organization. In the process, community leaders are prepared to take responsibilities for continued development after the end of the project, tentatively set at five years.
Recently, the implementation of the Local Government Code obligated the DENR to devolve to the Local Government Units (LGUs) the management of all ISF project sites except some of the "model sites" (one model site per province) and the UDP sites. These projects will remain under the care of the DENR for use as learning sites where new technologies and approaches are expected to be generated. These sites will also be used as training areas for LGU technicians and other development workers as part of the outreach program of the DENR