Cable by Dazzlepod US Embassy Diplomatic Cables from WikiLeaks Released 251287 Cables (Sep 2, 2012)
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Reference ID 08MANILA553 (original text)
SubjectTHE PHILIPPINE TROPICAL FOREST CONSERVATION FOUNDATION -
OriginEmbassy Manila
ClassificationUNCLASSIFIED
ReleasedAug 30, 2011 01:44
CreatedMar 5, 2008 07:26
VZCZCXYZ7857
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #0553/01 0650726
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 050726Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9991
RUEHZU/ASIAN PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION IMMEDIATE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC IMMEDIATE UNCLAS MANILA 000553 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE PASS OES/ETC FOR CASWELL AND DENNIS 
USAID FOR EGAT/ENV LAMPMAN, EGAT/ESP HESTER, ANE/TS MELYNK, AND 
ANE/EAA DOWNEY 
TREASURY FOR CARRIE MCKELLOGG AND KATIE BERG 
BANGKOK FOR JAMES WALLER 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS:        
SUBJECT: THE PHILIPPINE TROPICAL FOREST CONSERVATION FOUNDATION - 
2007 REVIEW 
 
REFS: (A) Manila 1045 
 
 1.  Summary.  The Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation 
(PTFCF) had a busy and productive 2007.  The Foundation launched 
initiatives including mapping of Philippine forests, publication of 
a book on a Philippine hardwood species, and nursery development. 
The PTFCF also competitively awarded 20 forest conservation grants 
totaling almost $756,000 to Philippine NGOs.  This cable provides 
the year's highlights and updates on membership of the Board of 
Trustees. 
 
---------- 
Background 
---------- 
 
 2.  Two United States - Philippine agreements signed in September 
2002 established the PTFCF under the Tropical Forest Conservation 
Act, which will divert $8.25 million in interest payments on 
Philippine Government debt to the U.S. over a 14-year period to 
support forest conservation activities of local NGOs.  The PTFCF 
began operations in April 2005 as a private, non-stock, non-profit 
foundation.  The PTFCF is managed by a Board of Trustees consisting 
of two USG representatives, two Philippine Government 
representatives, and five NGO representatives (Refs A and B).  The 
Philippines has experienced an alarming rate of deforestation over 
the past 100 years, with forest cover declining from about 70 
percent of the country's land (21 million hectares) in the early 
1900s to about 17 percent (5.3 million) in the late 1990s. 
Philippine forest cover has continued to decline since then.  The 
Foundation's purpose is to provide grants to NGOs to conserve, 
maintain, or restore Philippine tropical forests.  The Foundation's 
website is http://www.ptfcf.org. 
 
---------------------------- 
2007 Activity and Milestones 
---------------------------- 
 
 3.  2007 PTFCF Board and Committee Meetings:  PTFCF Trustees, 
Alternate Trustees, committee members, and staff had four board 
meetings, the last of which took place in January 2008.  PTFCF's 
Finance and Program Committees held four and six meetings 
respectively, to develop inputs for board meetings and recommend 
board actions, including review of proposals, refining financial 
management strategies, and strategic management.  The PTFCF 
Executive Director represented the Foundation at the Annual Meeting 
of organizations managing funds created under the Enterprise for the 
Americas Initiative and the Tropical Forest Conservation Act in San 
Salvador, El Salvador on November 12-15, 2007. 
 
 4.  Status of the Funds:  As of December 31, 2007, the amount 
deposited to the PTFCF account was $6,020,322 in local currency, 
including $838,404 deposited in June and in December 2007.  Aside 
from current account requirements, PTFCF funds are invested in 
peso-denominated Philippine Government Treasury Bills, with a blend 
of maturities selected to meet cash flow needs, and an average 
interest rate of 5.76%. 
 
 5.  Forest Conservation Grants:  Since its inception in 2005, the 
PTFCF has granted over $1,537,000 to NGO-led forest conservation 
initiatives throughout the Philippines.  During 2007, 20 grant 
awards were made totaling $755,784, in response to the PTFCF's 
annual call for proposals released in February 2007.  The 
conservation grants targeted lowland forests and mangroves, with 
most grants going to year-long, site-based activities.  The maximum 
grant amount was $40,000. 
 
 6.  In addition to the competitively solicited grants, the 
Foundation launched a number of its own initiatives meant to address 
major gaps in the forestry sector.  Activities included updating the 
map of the Philippine forests; publication of a Philippine hardwood 
resource book for NGO practitioners, academia, and upland 
communities; and developing nurseries of indigenous tree species for 
reforestation activities.  To further streamline the operations, 
enhance its presence and ability to respond to emerging needs of the 
sector, the Board approved new guidelines for small grants, 
co-funding and leveraging with other donors, and criteria for follow 
on phases for successful multi-year projects. 
 
-------------------------------------- 
Update on Board of Trustee Composition 
-------------------------------------- 
 
 7.  U.S. Mission representation consists of State Principal Trustee, 
Deputy Economic Counselor Timothy Neely (replacing Cleveland 
Charles); State Alternative Trustee, Environment, Science, 
 
 
Technology and Health Officer Caron de Mars; USAID Principal 
Trustee, Chief of Office of Energy and Environment (OEE) Daniel 
Moore; and USAID Alternative Trustee, Deputy Chief of OEE Aurelia 
Micko. 
 
 8.  PTFCF Board Composition.  The following lists the incumbents of 
the nine Trustee positions, together with institutional 
affiliation. 
 
Chair:  Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan, World Wildlife Fund 
Vice Chair:  Jose Atienza, Jr., Secretary, Department of Environment 
and Natural Resources 
Treasurer:  Dr. Perry Ong, Foundation for Integrative Development 
Studies, University of the Philippines 
Secretary:  Atty. Grizelda Mayo-Anda, Environmental Legal Assistance 
 
SIPDIS 
Center 
Trustee:  Roberto Tan, Undersecretary, Department of Finance 
Trustee:  Fr. Margarito Alingasa, Cebu Uniting for Sustainable Water 
Foundation 
Trustee:  Dennis Salvador, Philippine Eagle Foundation 
Trustee:  Tim Neely, U.S. Department of State 
Trustee:  Daniel Moore, USAID 
 
 9.  Board Developments during 2007.  New Department of Environment 
and Natural Resources Secretary Jose Atienza, Jr., assumed the Vice 
Chairmanship of the Board from former outgoing Secretary Angelo 
Reyes who left his post in June 2007.  Fr. Margarito Alingasa of the 
Cebu Uniting for Sustainable Water Foundation replaced former Board 
Secretary Evelyn Amit-Corado as the NGO Trustee from the Visayas. 
 
SIPDIS 
The Foundation will continue the search for two Board positions: the 
alternate trustee for Visayas and alternate trustee at-large.  Terms 
of all NGO board member end in December 2008. 
 
---------------- 
Kicking Off 2008 
---------------- 
 
 10.  The PTFCF Foundation has released its 2008 call for proposals 
last February 17, 2008, with closing date of March 17, 2008. In the 
first quarter of CY 2008, the Foundation is set to launch its 
capacity-building activities, initially targeted for those NGOs that 
submitted proposals in 2007 but were not considered for funding due 
to the poor quality of proposals; and the selection of a public 
interest-environmental law group to set up the PTFCF environmental 
defense fund that will support on-ground enforcement activities. 
 
Kenney