PHILIPPINES: (Indigenous Community) Conservation Area In Bukidnon Declared

By ELLALYN B. DE VERA
February 25, 2012, 6:01pm
MANILA, Philippines — A 4,000-hectare land within the ancestral domain of the Menuvu tribe in Balmar, Bukidnon has been declared a conservation area or indigenous community conserved area (ICCA).The ICCA declaration rites was witnessed by officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) led by Undersecretary Analiza Teh, representatives of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), non-government organization Philippine Association of Intercultural Development (PAFID), and Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection Nereus Acosta.

Last Feb. 8, the Menuvu Association led by its head Datu Ampuan Sulda declared the area as “Idsesengilaha” following a nine-day ritual of prayers, chants and dances which climaxed on the full moon last Wednesday.

“Idsesengilaha” is a native word which means “sacred place” or in the current context of environmentalism, an indigenous community conserved area or ICCA.

With the declaration, Datu Ampuan stressed that the area — which the tribe has been protecting for the longest time — is now recognized by other stakeholders as a place under strict protection, requiring anyone wishing to enter the area to get permission from the Menuvu Council of Elders.

As practiced, the council calls for a ritual or ceremony to be performed prior to giving its approval.

The newly-declared ICCA spans some 4,000 hectares within the 15,000-hectare ancestral domain of the Menuvu, one of Bukidnon’s seven ethnic tribes. It is located in the uplands of Mt. Kalatungan, the country’s sixth highest peak at 2,300 meters above sea level.

Teh assured the local community of DENR’s commitment to support the ICCA as a traditional conservation model that will be replicated, shared and strengthened through the New Conservation Areas in the Philippines Project (NewCAPP) being implemented by the agency through the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB).

UNDP Country Director Renaud Meyer said the key to the success of the ICCA is hinged on three factors, namely, good partnership between the indigenous community and the local government unit, the cooperation and support of the community, and the commitment of the people working with the project.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. corinthcorners
    Mar 04, 2012 @ 02:20:54

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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