Funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the project which covers Regions 7, 8 and 10, seeks to upscale the work done in the Watershed Project from 2012-2017 in Brgy. Kawayanon, Caibiran, Biliran Province. FLR will be implemented from March 2017 until February 2022.

A collaborative project by VSU, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the University of Sunshine Coast (USC) in Australia, the project is spearheaded by Dr John Herbohn of USC.

Dr. Arturo Pasa, Dean of VSU’s College of Forestry and Environmental Science will lead the team of VSU researchers of various fields including soil science, pest management, economics, development communication, agricultural extension, among other disciplines. Dr Nestor Gregorio, VSU alumnus who is now based at USC, will co-lead the project.

The collaboration of VSU and ACIAR in implementing forestry projects spans 20 years now. One of the most recent projects include the Q-seedling project which sought to improve the tree seedling supply in the Philippines.

The project inspired the issuance of the DENR Administrative Order 2011-10 which provides guidelines for the production and use of high-quality seedlings in reforestation projects.

The Watershed Project implemented the best practices in watershed rehabilitation in a pilot reforestation project in Biliran Province, which is now serving as a model for the implementation of the National Greening Program.

The two-decade partnership of VSU and ACIAR has provided VSU many benefits including opportunities for faculty members to pursue advance degrees in Australian universities. Dissemination of research results, acquisition of state-of-the-art research facilities including the Analytical Laboratory were made possible through the Watershed Project.

Besides USC, scientists from the University of Queensland, Southern Cross University, Queensland University of Technology, Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI) of Yale University, and University of Connecticut will participate in the implementation of the FLR project.