Deforestation in the Philippines

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The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,641 islands with a total land area, including inland bodies of water, of approximately 300,780 square kilometres (116,130 sq mi).

Along with other Southeast Asian countries deforestation in the Philippines is a major environmental issue.

Rate of deforestation[edit]

Over the course of the 20th century the forest cover of the Philippines dropped from 70 percent down to 20 percent.[1]

In total, 46 species are endangered, and 4 were already eradicated completely. Only 3.2 percent of total rainforest has been left.

Based on an analysis of land use pattern maps and a road map an estimated 9.8 million ha of forests were lost in the Philippines from 1934 to 1988.[2]


According to scholar Jessica Mathews, short-sighted policies by the Filipino government have contributed to the high rate of deforestation:

The government regularly granted logging concessions of less than ten years. Since it takes 30–35 years for a second-growth forest to mature, loggers had no incentive to replant. Compounding the error, flat royalties encouraged the loggers to remove only the most valuable species. A horrendous 40 percent of the harvestable lumber never left the forests but, having been damaged in the logging, rotted or was burned in place. The unsurprising result of these and related policies is that out of 17 million hectares of closed forests that flourished early in the century only 1.2 million remain today.[3]

Illegal logging[edit]

Illegal logging occurs in the Philippines [4] and intensify flood damage in some areas.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lasco, R. D.; R. D. (2001). "Secondary forests in the Philippines: formation and transformation in the 20th century" (PDF). Journal of Tropical Forest Science. 13 (4): 652–670. 
  2. ^ Liu, D; L Iverson; S Brown (1993). "Rates and patterns of deforestation in the Philippines: application of geographic information system analysis" (PDF). Forest Ecology and Management. 57 (1-4): 1–16. doi:10.1016/0378-1127(93)90158-J. ISSN 0378-1127. 
  3. ^ Mathews, Jessica Tuchman (1989). "Redefining Security" (PDF). Foreign Affairs. 68 (2). [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Teehankee, Julio C. (1993). "The State, Illegal Logging, and Environmental NGOs, in the Philippines". Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies. 9 (1). ISSN 2012-080X. 
  5. ^ "Illegal logging a major factor in flood devastation of Philippines". Terra Daily (AFP). 1 December 2004. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Cavanagh, John; Broad, Robin (1994). Plundering Paradise: The Struggle for the Environment in the Philippines. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-08921-9. 

External links[edit]