About Project Tarsier | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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About Project Tarsier


The overarching goal of Project Tarsier is to improve understanding of implementing large-scale rehabilitation of deforested and degraded forest landscapes, and improving the socioeconomic status of upland communities through the provision of sustainable livelihoods and voluntary trading of carbon credits generated through Nature-based Solutions.

Human activities have caused severe impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems, and climate.

Conserving and restoring ecosystems are the most important measures to avoid further damage to the planet and revert losses, which has driven ambitious restoration commitments nationally, regionally, and globally.

Despite interest from public and private sectors to restore ecosystems, many efforts fail to deliver the intended outcomes. Among the reasons are a limited consideration of the socioeconomic and governance landscape, use of species outside of suitable environmental range, failure to address drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, limited stakeholder engagement, and lack of long-term sustainability.

Project Tarsier, named after a flagship species of primate endemic to the Philippines, will address key knowledge gaps from the site level up to the global policy arena in both STEM and humanities to advance efforts towards the Sustainable Development Goals related to equity, poverty reduction, gender equality, climate change mitigation and adaptation, wellbeing, food security, and biodiversity conservation.

Using an action research approach and drawing on over 20 years of previous research undertaken by the team in the Philippines, we are working with communities located in three provinces of the Eastern Visayas Region, namely Biliran, Leyte, and Southern Leyte.

The project is led by UniSC’s Forest Research Institute in partnership with the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Visayas State University, Shell, People’s Organizations and local government. It will restore and manage degraded forest landscapes, test and monitor several types of interventions that match with environmental conditions and local institutions, socioeconomic needs, and motivations of the communities.

Alternative livelihoods will be promoted, and a capacity building program will be implemented that considers the needs of stakeholder groups. Carbon credits will be generated under the Voluntary Carbon Standards combined with the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards.

The project will create a living laboratory to explore research questions and improve outcomes related to the following research themes:

  1. Reforestation project design and funding
  2. Stakeholder engagement
  3. Afforestation, reforestation, and revegetation systems
  4. Livelihood projects
  5. Socioeconomic aspects
  6. Using remote sensing in carbon projects
  7. Carbon stocks and accumulation
  8. Policy and governance.