For 10 days in August 2014, five Indonesian Landcare delegates visited the Philippines to learn from the Philippines Landcare program. The Indonesian group was made up of three farmer facilitators from the Merapi Landcare program, the Sahabat Lahan Indonesia (SLI) Landcare facilitator and a community forestry lecturer from the Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta.
The study tour, hosted by the Landcare Foundation of the Philippines (LFPI) was sponsored by Australian Landcare International (ALI) with generous support from The Crawford Fund. ALI member Victoria Mack accompanied the group and did a superb job organising the tour. LFPI staff, led by Director Ben Aspera, paved the way with local coordinators and the use of their facilities.
The Indonesian delegates gained significant knowledge and understanding about how Landcare in the Philippines is embedded in the community and how it works collaboratively with farmer groups across the islands. The study tour was greatly enriched by the practical field-based learning sites and also the interactive discussions with key Filipino Landcare personnel.
There were many visits to meet the leaders of the local government units, and the smaller barangays, which showed how mutually beneficial partnerships have been nurtured to advance the sustainability of the Landcare process. The Indonesians also learned about the importance of research partnerships and collaborations with other relevant agencies, including NGOs.
The important role of Landcare facilitators was clearly demonstrated and articulated by the many Landcare facilitators who joined the tour at various sites. These exchanges allowed the Indonesians to consider their own roles in Landcare and also their future roles.