Sustaining Forest Protection after Present EGIP Funded Project Ceases to Exist

Draft notes meeting at Macatabo on Friday 28 March 2014

Topic of meeting: sustaining forest protection after present EGIP funded project ceases to exist

Location: Macatabo, Carmen, Baguio District, Davao City

Participants:

Representation of the community including Datu Lamdin and Mam Nilda
Datu Quimpo Subuan of the Obu Manuvu Council of Elders
PEF Sirs Jayson and Joshua
EGIP: Alec van Dierendonck EGIP Foundation Board member and his girl friend Aiza, Wiebe van Rij, EGIP Foundation Board member and project consultant

Key results of the meeting:

PEF’s Joshua presented a project update, a question and answer session followed and clarifications were provided

Sustaining the project after the present EGIP project is finished:

In the future, part of the income from farm sales will be put aside to pay the forest guards for doing the patrolling as per standard DENR/PEF procedures. The community mentioned that this would be feasible when the IP farms are well developed and outputs sold with sufficient profit. For that the IP farmers need to implement their farm plans with EGIP support which mainly is provision of seedlings as per farm plan and cultivated as much as possible in the community nursery.

It was therefore agreed that each farmer will present a table to PEF showing the type of seedlings as agreed in his/her farm plan; how many were already provided (through PCEEM & PEF); and the balance still to be provided/cultivated

Part of income generated through the community coop will be shared for paying the forest guards

Part of the income from Non-Timber/secondary Forest Products (NTFP) like for example Tree oils such as Almasiga resin, medicinal plants, honey, nuts, seeds, berries, mushrooms, foliage, rattan maybe, will be shared for paying the forest guards

Also income from Eco-tourism to be shared for paying the forest guards
Regarding Eco-tourism facility/business

A SWOT analysis was conducted under the guidance of Sir Jayson (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). A lot of strengths and opportunities were identified
It was conveyed that EGIP might be interested in supporting/investing in an eco-tourism sustainability project but on some conditions:

i.      There needs to be a designated area and a facility like a lodge where eco-tourists can stay comfortably

ii.      The facility needs to be professionally managed like for example there must be a capable manager, marketing officer and support staff preferably recruited from the community. The initial management would be EGIP’s responsibility until the time the community is capable to take over       the professional management. The project set up would therefore be “Build, Operate, Transfer in due time (BOT)

iii.       To allow EGIP to invest in the facility and manage it temporarily, the land on which the facility is located would have to be leased to EGIP Foundation on agreed terms and conditions with the Macatabo community

iv.      The first step would be to survey the envisaged area (somewhere around the place where LBF Delegation visited, at the Panigan river), which should be accessible/made accessible with a good road so eco-tourists can arrive by vehicle transport

The community brought up establishing a Tribal Village as per the ADSDP of the Obu Manuvu Ancestral Domain with the following information:

i.      They would like to establish the village which means around 55 houses, close to the forest to make monitoring of the forest easier and preferable adjacent to the tourism facility so eco-tourists could also observe the tribal culture, way of living etc. in the Tribal Village.

ii.      It was made clear that the construction of such a Tribal Village is beyond EGIP Foundation or PEF capacity. However EGIP and PEF staff as well as Datu….of the Council of Elders could assist in scouting for financing opportunities through their networks. There are two organisations in     the Philippines that apparently are involved in housing projects for groups like the Indigenous Peoples. They are Kawat Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity. These organisations may be contacted to explore the possibilities for funding the Macatabo Tribal Village

Another idea to establish a PEF managed animal rescue centre nearby the forest that is already protected by the Macatabo forest guards, cropped up. To study the feasibility of such a centre and the possible release of rehabilitated animals/and/or their offspring in the protected forest, at least     the following needs to be done:

i.      Proper research on the existing species in the forest, say through a ethno-biological study which includes existing and ideal populations and determination of gaps.

ii.      In case of a gap the possibility to release rehabilitated animals (and/or their offspring) that have maximum adaptation and survival changes in the protected forest habitat could be considered.

iii.      A rescue centre that also aims at releasing suitable animals into the wild again, could be an additional attraction for eco-tourists so it should be established not be too far from the eco-tourism facility and Tribal Village.

Gawad Kalinga visits Obu-Manuvu Community in Carmen

UPDATE REPORT

Last March 28, 2014, a consultation meeting was held in order to find out how to sustain the forest protection in Obu-Manuvu Ancestral Domain after the present EGIP funded project ceases to exist.  Several issues and topics have been raised during the meeting such as how to generate more income in the community, how to improve their farms and sold their outputs with enough profit, the plan to establish a rescue and rehabilitation center of wildlife species and the eco-tourism business facility. Apparently, all of these plans have been included on the Community Forest Protection and Development Plan (CFPDP) of the Carmen Obu-Manuvu Ancestral Domain. But, during the SWOT Analysis conducted by Mr. Jayson Ibanez, Research and Conservation Director of Philippine Eagle Foundation, it was conveyed that EGIP might be interested in supporting a rescue and rehabilitation center and the eco-tourism sustainability project with some conditions.  They want to have a designated area for the proposed eco-tourism business facility where initial management would be EGIP’s responsibility until such time the community is capable to take over the management.  The set-up would be “Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) “system.

Then, the Obu-Manuvu community brought-up establishing a Tribal Village as part of their CFPDP and the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development Plan Project (ADSDPP). This is also to make their monitoring and foot patrolling on their AD forest easier, continue their daily living while preserving their cultural practices and traditions, and preferable to the plan on establishing an eco-tourism sites.  However, it was made clear to them that the plan to establish the tribal village was beyond the capacity of EGIP and PEF though they could assist in finding financing opportunities through their networks.  Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity was two of the organisation in the Philippines that involved in housing projects that was planned to be contacted. On May 24, 2014, Mr. Rene Rieta of Gawad Kalinga scheduled a meeting for a proposed tribal village of the community together with the Tribal Chieftain Datu Paulino Landim and Bae Nilda Landim of the Obu-Manuvu community in Carmen and Mr. Jayson Ibanez and Joshua Donato of Philippine Eagle Foundation. Mr Rieta showed interest of the proposed tribal village because according to them this is their first time to involve the tribal community in their mission to end poverty in the Philippines.

Gawad Kalinga (GK), which means to “give care” in Filipino, is officially known as the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, a Philippine-based poverty alleviation and nation-building movement. Their goal is to end poverty by providing land for the landless, homes for the homeless and food for the hungry.

On June 14, 2013, Mr. Rene Rieta of Gawad Kalinga visited the Obu-Manuvu Community in Sitio Macatabo, Carmen, Davao City to give orientation to the community about the Gawad Kalinga and its missions.  He also shared his optimism and excitement about the proposed tribal village of the community and how their partners and supporters reacted on the proposed endeavor. He was accompanied by Mr. Jayson Ibanez and Joshua Donato of Philippine Eagle Foundation and Ms. Erdee Joy Lao of EGIP Foundation.   Dr. Ana Lascano, the Veterinarian of Philippine Eagle Foundation was also present during the program for a proposed rescue and rehabilitation center of animals in the area.  A short program was held which was participated by the Obu-Manuvu Community, representative from Unified Obu-Manuvu Tribal Council of Elders, representative from Brgy. Council of Brgy. Carmen, EGIP and PEF. Open forum was also done after the program where the meeting participants asked questions to the guest.  After lunch break, Mr. Rene Rieta and the group together with a selection of forest guards went to the vantage area near the Barangay Carmen where they can see the proposed site of the tribal village.

 After the visit, Mr. Rieta was hopeful that the proposed project will push through and expressed his appreciation for his brand new partnership especially to the Obu-Manuvu community.