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Saving the Almaciga Tree Project


2015 – 2017


Palawan, Philippines



As part of our efforts in establishing the Cleopatra’s Needle Critical Habitat, we initiated the Saving the Almaciga project. The Almaciga tree (Agathis philippinensis) is the primary producer of non-timber forest products in the forests of the CNCH and its high-value resin represents a big portion of the income of the Indigenous Batak tribe and other indigenous groups who have lived in this area since time immemorial. This ancient coniferous tree used to dominate the upland forests in Palawan but over- harvesting and illegal logging now threaten its existence.

We assisted the indigenous communities in the area with their goal to ensure the future of the Almaciga tree, and thus livelihood and existence of the local indigenous people, through research, reforestation, education and training, and enforcement.

Over 5000 Almaciga seedlings were propagated by Indigenous and local communities from the first-ever Almaciga cone-based propagation nurseries in the Philippines. Several scientific documentations have been made, the local communities have created a management plan for the species, and an enforcement team is being setup.

Pictures by conservation photographer Duncan Andrew Murrell.

As a lifelong conservationist, it has always been very important for his photos to be used primarily for that purpose, as his whale photos were during the international save the whale campaign in the 1980s and 90s. He is currently focused on helping to protect tropical rainforests, especially if the local indigenous people are actively involved as they are with the Centre for Sustainability in Palawan. He is also working with the Borneo Nature Foundation in Kalimantan as a photographer and environmental educator.


You can find his work here:

NGO, IP’s group collaborate on Almaciga tree-planting program in Tanabag, Puerto Princesa.

June 2016 – Palawan News


Through an early-morning ceremonial tree planting activity, non-profit group Centre for Sustainability (CS), in collaboration with indigenous communities in Barangay Tanabag, Puerto Princesa City, officially launched yesterday, June 06, 2016, an Almaciga reforestation program in Cleopatra’s Needle Forest.