Today is February 23, 2017
Today is February 23, 2017


FPE at 25: Calibrating Commitments and Actions into the Future

Posted on January 30, 2017

The Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) has supported more than 800 civil society organizations in conserving biodiversity and sustaining communities in more than 70 critical sites through more than 1,700 projects nationwide, since its founding in 1992. Moving into its 25th year, FPE looks back at its milestones, taking stock of its learnings and calibrating comittments towards strengthened conservation action.

Pre-1992: The US$125 M Natural Resources Management Program makes debt-for-nature swaps accessible to developing countries seeking to reduce external debt. Technical assistance from WWF-US and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) sets stage for local endowment fund for the environment.

1992: January 15, 1992, FPE becomes the country’s first and largest non-government grant-making organization for environmental projects of civil society.

1993: Regional Advisory Committees (RAC) in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao set their Regional Environmental Agenda (REA) and select priority conservation sites. Among the earliest grants were for NGO/PO efforts on protected area and Community-Based Resource Management (CBRM).

1994: Full management of the US$22 M Environmental Endowment Fund was transferred from USAID to FPE for biodiversity projects.

1995: Experts Advisory Panel formed to assess 21 priority sites. FPE finds a home in Teacher’s Village, Quezon City.

1996: Cooperation with the Philippine Development Assistance Program (PDAP) to jointly develop, fund and monitor projects to focusing on the complementarity of lowland sustainable agriculture and upland biodiversity conservation; and Philippine Agrarian Reform Foundation for Rural Development (PARFUND) to assist indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) in developing ancestral domain management plans.

1999: REA and CBRM help frame FPE’s strategic focus. Leveraged funding with bilateral and multilateral agencies (Australia, GEF, UNDP and USAID) to jump start conservation actions in Mt. Matutum, Ligawasan Marsh, and the Bohol Island Marine Triangle; and provided support to assess climate change impact on biodiversity loss. Foundation for a Sustainable Society (FSSI), PRRM and FPE co-publish “Living Stories: Exemplary Practices in Environment and Sustainable Development.” FPE joins Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference environment committee to facilitate resolution of environmental problems and issues affecting the poor.

2000: FPE adopts Area-Based Strategy for more visible collaboration and connectedness with partners; decentralizes operational accountability and responsibility for the environment.

2001: FPE co-organizes 1st National Conference on Protected Area Management in Davao to synthesize PA management concerns and actions. That same year, the Pederasyon ng mga Aytang Samahan sa Sambales (PASS), a pioneering attempt for different organizations and communities of indigenous peoples (IP) to jointly manage their ancestral domains, was supported.

2002: FPE, with three other environmental CSOs, were instrumental in raising support for forestry issues thad led to the birth of the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation, which manages the US$8.2 M commitment from the US Tropical Forest Conservation Act to fund forest conservation in the next 14 years. FPE mounts proactive Environmental Legal Defense program for forest and coastal-marine communities to become better protected by environmental laws.

2003: FPE forms the Fostering People’s Education, Empowerment and Enterprise or FPE3—a subsidiary that supports natural resource-based social enterprises. The country hosts, with FPE’s support, the 3rd Southeast Asian Regional Meeting of the IUCN-World Commission on Protected Areas. FPE and PBSP help develop monitoring and evaluation indicators for Population, Health and Environment. 

2004: FPE and other groups lead formation of Task Force Sierra Madre in response to disastrous mountain slides in Infanta, Quezon. A PCIJ grant examines the tragedy’s roots and identifies possible causes, therefore helping fast track the filing of court cases against logging firms. FPE establishes Advocacy Support Fund for IPs and other groups that address mining issues.


2005: FPE plots CARRESI strategy (constituency building, advocacy, research, resource mobilization, environmental defense, sites, and institutional building) for its grants program. The 1st National Grassroots Conference on Mining in Marinduque examines community impact and perceived environmental threats.


2006: Research on the impact of aerial pesticide spraying in Davao banana plantations affirms local ordinance citing its hazards to health and the environment.

2007: FPE supports the Green Renewable Independent Power Producers (GRIPP) Climate-Friendly Cities project, showing clean energy solutions that curb carbon emissions and make viable business models. GRIPP launches full-scale operation in Bacolod City through a fleet of electric jeepneys.

2008: FPE develops program framework on Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction for its sites. FPE supports the publication of Newsbreak magazine’s special issue entitled “The Big Dig: Mining Rush Rakes Tons of Conflict” – the first journalistic assessment of the mining industry since the Supreme Court upheld the Mining Act in 1995.

2009: Resource and socio-economic assessments lead to discovery in Balbalasang-Balbalan National Park of Rafflesia leonardi, an indigenous variety of the world’s largest flower.


2010: Environmental Defense Program expands legal and paralegal services through the Alternative Law Group. CSOs step up reforestation of Marikina watershed in the aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy (Haiyan). FPE manages Mainstreaming Indigenous Peoples’ Participation in Environmental Governance (MIPPEG) project funded by EU and FUNDESO.

2011: FPE becomes a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to present issues on a global stage. Advisers and partners revisit stand on national issues including mining, logging, unsustainable agriculture, non-renewable energy, climate change and disaster risks, pollution, and land conversion. FPE implements a USAID-funded project to upscale forest restoration efforts in key biodiversity areas.

2012: FPE helps persuade DENR to phase out exotic trees and use Philippine native trees instead for the PhP5.7B National Greening Program. From the initial PhP569M endowment in 1992, the cumulative valuation and utilization crosses the PhP1B mark, demonstrating strong fund stewardship and enabling FPE to provide financial and technical assistance to community-based groups in KBAs.

2013: FPE grants concentrate on six from twelve key conservation sites, for a site-focused intervention. FPE initiates a sustainable financing mechanisms project that looks at how host communities of 11 major watershed areas, many of which are IPs, can equitably benefit from dues collected from commercial use of water from these watersheds.


2014: FPE takes into account livelihood concerns as part of overall conservation management to lessen destructive and extractive activities. FPE integrates ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and rehabilitation to support vulnerable communities in KBAs following the devastation brought by Typhoon Yolanda in late 2013. FPE launches the first ever Sarihay Media Awards to recognize and award excellence in environmental reporting. Since then, more attention has been given to environmental issues and challenges by the media.

2015: FPE develops a ten-year (2015-2025) strategic plan to be more responsive in its conservation and community development approaches and strategies. As NGO Responsible Party of the 5th phase of the GEF-UNDP Small Grants Program in the Philippines, FPE monitors and evaluates program grantees in Samar, Sierra Madre and Palawan. FPE also collaborates with the global Climate Reality Project to help raise awareness of climate change issues and catalyze local actions to enhance the resiliency of ecosystems and communities.

2016: FPE launches its Small Grants Facility for POs and IPOs to enable grassroots level organizations access support for community-based BCSD projects. FPE's fund valuation and utilization has cumulatively reached PhP2B.


2017: FPE marks its 25th year by publicly launching its new Strategic Plan, with a renewed vision: "To be a dynamic, relevant, and growing organization leading actions in biodiversity conservation and sustainable development toward healthy ecosystems and resilient communities", with long-term focus on six priority sites: Mt. Kalbario-Patapat Natural Park in Ilocos Norte, Sibuyan Island in Romblon, Mt. Nacolod Protected Landscape in Southern Leyte, Gigantes Islands in Iloilo, Agusan Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary in Agusan del Sur, and Ligawasan Marsh in Maguindanao.











































































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