Categories Asia, Events, National events, Newsflash, The Philippines

Philippine Indigenous Peoples Call to Uphold Traditional Governance in Protected Areas

By Tanya Conlu, ICCA Consortium Coordinator for Southeast Asia, on behalf of NTFP-EP

An orientation and dialogue on the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) Law was held in the Philippines on March 25-26 with indigenous community leaders whose ancestral domains overlap with protected areas. The Philippine Association for Inter-Cultural Development (PAFID – an ICCA Consortium Member) made an analysis of data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). It says that 62 protected areas affect 84 ancestral domains, on a total of 1.23 million hectares spread across the country.

Datu Johnny Guina, of the PTTA, shares the gains the community acquired in asserting their right to self-governance in Mount Kalatungan Range Natural Park

In the two-day forum, indigenous leaders discussed the implications of the law on their traditions and the ways they can collaborate with the Protected Areas authorities. The forum produced an “Indigenous Peoples’ Declaration on the Recognition and Respect of Indigenous Governance in Ancestral Domains Affected by Protected Areas”, which calls for the recognition of native titles and traditional governance to have primacy over government programs and plans. They specified the ancestral domains affected by protected areas to the Protected Area Management Boards and the kind of technical assistance they will need from the DENR-BMB. This i

Cong. Teddy Baguilat, President of the Global ICCA Consortium, shares his insights on the ENIPAS and pushes for the passage of the ICCA Bill

ncludes support in documentation, mapping, resource inventory and conservation planning; biodiversity friendly livelihoods; native tree reforestation; indigenous forest guards; legal cases and witness protection; and information to non-indigenous people on indigenous policies in conserved areas.

ICCA Consortium Members ANGOC, PAFID, NTFP-EP, and Bukluran (Philippine ICCA Consortium) co-organized the event in partnership with the Philippine ICCA Project under the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), with the support of Forest Foundation of the Philippines (FFP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – Global Environment Facility (GEF) and its Small Grants Programme (SGP) through the ICCA Global Support Initiative (GSI).

The group of participants

Photo credits:Philippine ICCA Project of the BMB