In 2022, some camps are organising camp experiences for you to participate in. We are hopeful that they will be able to go ahead. Camps will follow the local conditions closely, and may have to cancel activities if the local COVID-19 situation forces them to do so. If you have already signed up for a camp-activity you will be informed when this happens. We will update the website also, when such decisions are taken. Please check your own local authority travel advisory to see if you can travel to or return from the camp after the activity. At all times, when at camps, please observe it’s COVID-19 policy (such as wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, etc).
Camp Regenesis is a beautiful 17 Hectare mountainous property located in the tropical island of Bohol, Philippines, one of the most popular travel destinations in the archipelago. Our site is unique in that we are situated in the interior highlands with unparalleled 270 degree views of the world famous Chocolate Hills, rural landscapes, and a breathtaking sea of clouds at sunrise, visible when we are lucky enough. We also have a 2.2 Hectare communal irrigation dam within our property that forms a unique inland water reservoir perfect for kayaking and stand up paddling.
Historically, the majority of the island had a tropical forest cover. However decades of agricultural expansion, slash and burn farming, and logging have left only 27% of its natural forests intact. Within our site area, cattle grazing, annual burning of grasses during the dry season, and lack of seed sources or forest patches at high elevation have prevented any natural regeneration or rewilding to take place.
We aim to restore the conditions of the site to enable it to ecologically evolve over time through fire management, water capture and storage through keyline design, establishment of much needed microclimates and soil conditions to support wild afforestation, while also exploring syntropic food forestry, bamboo production, SRI rice production, vetiver applications, and many more, all within the larger framework of moving our local communities towards regenerative ways of living.
We now have an established nursery of 8000 bamboo, fruit tree, and native tree seedlings, ready to be planted come the rainy season. Most of our bamboo seedlings are of economically and ecologically valuable and construction grade bamboo species, and therefore they create a low-hanging income source while also being a key component to restoration and sustainable construction.
We have also completed earthworks of our first water impounding at the highest elevation of our property which we have stabilized with vetiver grass. When filled, this will serve as a gravity-fed water source for surrounding planting works and also for our upland rice terraces, which will use SRI technologies and upland rice varieties to reduce water requirements.
Construction of our multi-purpose center will also soon commence. Once completed, it will serve as a training center, visitor center, office, and accommodations for longer-term students and volunteers. The target for completion will be Q3 of 2021.
Expect cozy campfires, star gazing, breathtaking views, and scenic trails. Expect to wake up rejuvenated by fresh, clean, mountain air every morning. Expect spectacular sunsets and sunrises, and if you’re lucky – wake up to a sea of clouds! Learn about bamboo, permaculture, vetiver engineering, afforestation. Expect to get your hands dirty as you learn while doing.
And outside of our camp, expect a tropical island gem with so many things to offer. People come here to see the Chocolate Hills, to lounge in white beaches, as well as for the world class diving sites, waterfalls, rivers, and hundreds of caves for spelunking. They also come for its incredible history exemplified by the beautiful Spanish churches. So if you’d like to make a proper trip out of your stay here with us, we can definitely help you with your itinerary to make your entire experience worthwhile.
Experts in syntropic farming and agroforestry. Campers who love adventure and don’t mind the tropical heat and humidity.
Kayaking, swimming, and stand up paddling in our 2.2 Hectare reservoir, bike trails, hiking, all kinds of adventure activities outside our site.
Volunteering at camp requires basic costs to be covered by campers. Please fill out the interest form for more information.
We will be launching our 2-3 day restoration/adventure camping programmes for local residents by the Summer of 2021. International guests will also be welcomed as and when the global pandemic situation allows travel.
Campers can expect to embark on a unique camping adventure as they hike through lesser known and picturesque trails and arrive at one of the most scenic destinations in Bohol. In addition to this experience of raw, natural beauty, campers will also have the opportunity to participate in various restoration activities depending on the season, such as tree planting, seed spreading, propagation, digging, or even rice terrace formation.
Later this year after our multi-purpose center is completed, we will be able to accommodate longer stays and conduct courses and workshops on Bamboo propagation, hands-on permaculture, ecosystem restoration and restoration design, regenerative entrepreneurship, and many more.
photo credit: Johnny Ferniz
Our vision is to become the centre for regeneration in the Philippines and eventually in the South East Asian region. We aspire to lead efforts to restore a diverse array of degenerated ecosystems at a larger scale, ranging from tropical forests, marine or coastal ecosystems, freshwater ecosystems, agro-ecological ecosystems, mangrove, and so on.
Our current campsite is our ground zero to test bed different restoration strategies suitable to our region so they can be successfully replicated in other sites. Part of this strategy is to incorporate a research arm to create in-house expertise on various restoration techniques while at the same time collect data to track and monitor ecological impacts over time. We are presently liaising with researchers from local institutions to partner with us in this effort.
But more than restoring ecosystems, we also want to transform our current models of inhabiting the earth so that our pursuit of economic, cultural, and societal prosperity is in tandem with conserving and regenerating nature in the same physical realm. By so doing, we hope to ensure that our restoration efforts will not be undone by the same systems that contributed to its degradation in the first place.
The following are the salient approaches we are working towards implementing at our ground zero.
Venturing into as many of the above activities and businesses as possible not only gives us the opportunity to design regenerative models of those industries, but also allows us to diversify our income streams so the project can sustain itself in the long term with little need of external funding.
This, together with the data collected on positive ecological transformations over time, will help us build our case that regeneration can be lucrative, so that more will follow this path. Our larger goal is to earn enough so that we ourselves can invest in restoring even more land and ecosystems, or even provide seed money to local farmers and small businesses who want to pursue this path, thus creating a ripple effect of healing and regeneration throughout the entire region.
Camping- bring your own tent
By the end of 2021: we will have built a multi-purpose structure with space for accommodations, a full kitchen, toilets and showers, and a learning and training center.
Restoration of livelihoods
Agroforestry Natural building Fire prevention Cover cropping Water retention Bamboo propagation Upland rice terracing using SRI (Systems of Rice Intensification)
Your safety is very important to us. Most camps are in locations that are completely safe for you to travel to. Some camps are in locations where there is civil unrest, higher levels of crime, or in areas where there could be severe nature events (earthquakes, tornados, vulcanic eruptions). We strongly advise you to check with your national authority’s travel advisory service to see if there are specific travel advisories for the region you are travelling to. We strongly advise you to comply with that travel advisory. If there is a negative travel advisory for the area you plan to go to, we want to impress on you that it is your decision to not heed the warnings and go. ERC can then not be liable in that situation if something happens to you.
Work at camps is usually safe. The camp coordinators make your safety their highest priority too. But you will be working with tools and sometimes even (heavy) machinery. Sometimes the terrain can be slightly treacherous. Heat or cold can become a problem for people at work that do not take the necessary measures to prevent injury from weather conditions. Especially in remote locations, all people at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp will need to watch out for eachother’s safety. For this reason we ask you to also sign our Code of Conduct, through which you commit to contributing to a safe environment at camps for all that are there with you. Take yours and all other camper’s safety seriously! Together, while watching over eachother, we can restore our ecosystems safely and successfully.
Stichting Ecosystem Restoration Foundation /
Ecosystem Restoration Camps 2020