Landscape Hero nomination

Nella Lomotan Nationality: Filipino
Country of residence: Philippines

Project location

Philippines

Rangers and citizens come together to restore forests and biodiversity. In our adopted reforestation plot where our aim is to restore degraded lands, citizens and rangers come together to take part in reforestation initiatives. We believe tha conservation is a shared mission thus, we engage the greater public to take part in our mission. People we take along the trails also learn about the importance of forests and native trees and hear the stories of rangers who guide them enabling them to develop a strong connection to the land. - Photo by: Nella Lomotan

Protecting and restoring biodiversity by empowering rangers and engaging citizens

The Philippines is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, yet it has faced severe landscape degradation through the years, with deforestation as one of the major sources of habitat loss, endangering many of its species. Phillippine forest rangers are at the front lines of illegal deforestation; they face challenges and threats in their daily work, and are also severely understaffed and underequipped. In 2019, the Philippines was ranked the deadliest country for environmental defenders. That’s why local environmental advocate Nella Lomatan has dedicated her life to the empowerment of rangers in various parts of the Philippines, in particular through her environmental travel organization Eco Explorations.

Citizen tree planting
Citizens tree nurturing

In some of the sites where her tours visit, rangers act as guides and educators who help to reforest degraded habitats together with the travellers. Soon, they will also be tasked to manage their own native tree nursery and to propagate endangered, native species which may be sold to other planting sites for additional livelihood. Rangers are also engaged to educate about biodiversity in the habitats they protect and to share science-based data with the general public who join the initiatives.

Tamaraw Rangers

Eco Explorations hosts Biodiversity Camps in collaboration with the rangers, in different protected & key biodiversity areas in the Philippines, to engage the general public and hopefully convert them into conservationists.

Birdwatching and biodiversity monitoring with Forest Wardens

The organization has also launched conservation financing initiatives to empower rangers and augment their needs, such as the Support-a-Ranger program, which provides food subsidies, allowances, gear, equipment, medical supplies and more, based on a strong belief that to protect habitats and biodiversity is to protect the people that protect them.

GLF Biodiversity Trailer:

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