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The Philippines: new forest on clear cut land

Update: Since 2022, Rapunzel donates the HAND IN HAND donation (previously HAND IN HAND Fund) to the RAPUNZEL One World Organic Foundation.

Poverty and fast population growth encouraged the inhabitants of Mandanao Island to cut down the tropical rain forest. However on the clear cut land a new development is underway: a cooperative of handicapped persons is now planting near-natural mixed forests on special demonstration sites. The project is helping to give an abused ecosystem a new start, while providing work and income to an underprivileged group.

Handicapped persons do not have many opportunities for education and work in the Philippines. The Foundation for TheseAbled Inc. (FTI) came up with the idea for the reforestation project together with the German organization Life-Giving- Forest e.V. Support came from the Hand in Hand-Fund.

The cooperative’s forest on Mandanao is expected to produce its first harvest of timber in about ten years. Their own carpenter’s workshop plans to produce, among other things, chairs for schools. However it will still take quite some time before the new mixed forest is able to provide the ecosystem with the new start. Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the country in late 2013, left much damage in its wake. Thanks to the help of FTI members, the carpenters were able to rebuild the cooperative’s wooden houses.


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