DOST-PCAARRD monitors Forest CANOPI Program

The Forestry and Environment Research Division (FERD) of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) recently visited the Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve and the National Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH), University of the Philippines Los Baños.

The visit was part of the monitoring and evaluation of the Forest Canopy Observation, Positioning and Investigation (Forest CANOPI) Program: Developing Forest Canopy Science in the Philippines.

Funded by PCAARRD, the main objective of the program is to contribute to the understanding of canopy-based biodiversity dynamics and to develop science-based tools and techniques.

The program is composed of four projects namely: Project 1. Forest Canopy Management; Project 2. Forest Canopy Flora and Invertebrate Fauna; Project 3. Forest Canopy Vertebrate Fauna; and Project 4. Forest Canopy Monerans (Prokaryotes) and Fungi.

Dr. Nimfa K. Torreta, DOST-PCAARRD’s ISP Manager for Bamboo and Biodiversity served as the evaluator of the field visit together with For. Maria Kristina Abigail S. Lapitan, project staff under UP’s Emerging Interdisciplinary Research (EIDR) Program of FERD.

Dr. Nathaniel C. Bantayan, Program Leader and Project Leader for Project 1, lead the ten-minute hike inside the Molawin-Dampalit, a 2-ha long plot, where an established 35-meter tall Bagtikan tree with scaffoldings was highlighted. Overview of the Mt. Makiling forest canopy can be seen atop the tree.

The site visit was followed by a visit to the BIOTECH laboratory at UPLB. Robynne Eslit, project assistant of project 4, discussed how the samples collected from the field were examined and isolated. Representatives from the four projects also prepared a brief presentation showing the accomplishments of the program.

To complete the program, particularly the establishment of the Forest Canopy Observation Network, the program is expected to be extended.