Katala Ecosystem and Forest Protection Program

A newly restored patch of freshwater swamp forest in Katala Institute
Most of the landscaping in Katala institute is done with native plants like this palm of the forest understorey

Without plants, there would be no complex life on Earth. Despite this fact, relatively few conservation efforts exist for threatened plant species. Few people recognize plants as individuals, but just register them as part of the scenery, a phenomenon which has been termed “plant blindness”. At Katala Institute we try to feature plants as individuals, as well as part of the ecosystem.

The short loop trail on the left after entering the premises highlights plants form other tropical islands around the globe. Many of these are commonly cultivated in the Philippines, but some are highly threatened in their native habitats. The majority of Katala Institute is devoted to the indigenous flora of Palawan. KFI adopt and builds on the “Rainforestation” concept, promoting indigenous species adapted to specific soil and climate conditions for ecosystem restoration. Katala however goes beyond that approach, by utilizing not only canopy-forming trees as in the original “Rainforestation” sytems, but also species of the understorey, forest edge and even lianas and epiphytes.

Seedlings in the tree nursery of Katala Institute

Most of the ecosystem restoration sites of Katala Foundation are outside of Katala Institute, like for example in the Dumaran Island Critical Habitat, Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm or in Apis in Aborlan.