Grupong Sagip News Update
19 YEARS OF EXISTENCE... GRUPONGSAGIP REMAINS A PASSION
WORLD BETTER OFF!
Asserting the sanctity of nature, indigenous peoples have embarked on an initiative to preserve the Kimangkil forest corridor that spans almost 14,000 hectares of watershed areas bordering four provinces in Mindanao.
Through a pact sealed by the “Mintapod Declaration,” five major Higaonon tribal councils swear to unite in protecting the sacred mountains of Kimangkil, Balatukan, Kalanawan, Pamalihi and Sumagaya. The declaration, so named because it was signed in a place called Mintapod in Impasug-ong town, Bukidnon, cites the mountains’ importance as a lifeblood for millions of people living in the lowlands.
“We believe that these mountains provide sanctuaries to all spirits ... and that these mountains are watersheds of all major rivers streaming down to the provinces of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Agusan and Cotabato,” read the declaration.
Pledging their commitment to the declaration are the Agtulawon-Mintapod Higaonon Cumadon, Kalanawan Tribal Council, Minalwang Higaonon Tribal Council, Pamalihi Tribal Council and the Mamacila Apo Ginopaka Tribal Council which together represent over 5,000 Higaonon families.
Amay Matangkilan Cumatang, leader of the management structure tasked with leading the protection of the sacred mountains, says the areas are ancestral domains of Higaonons which their forefathers have nurtured and preserved using traditional sustainable practices.
“We are inhabitants of these areas for centuries. It is only natural that we guard and preserve the mountains for our own sake and for the sake of future generations,” Amay Matangkilan said.
BUILDING FOREST CORRIDORS
Helping the Higaonon tribes on capacity building are several nongovernment organizations. A project called ‘Building Forest Corridors’—implemented with the help of the European Commission—has Kimangkil mountain as a flash point owing to the indigenous forest corridor concept showcased by the Higaonons there.
In a three-day Indigenous Peoples Forest Corridor Conference held recently in Searsolin this city, project enforcers lauded the Higaonons for their initiatives to protect the sacred mountains.
Environmental groups Anthrowatch, Non-timber Forest Products-Exchange Programme for South and Southeast Asia, Upholding Life and Nature (ULAN), and the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) convened the conference to discuss ways of conserving the forests through sustainable and effectively managed ancestral domain corridors by indigenous peoples.
“Through generations the Higaonons have been able to assert their rights to cultural integrity and maintain ecological stability, which becomes clear if one takes a close look at the intact forest ecosystems of the Higaonon living around Mt. Kimangkil,” said the groups in a statement.
Godof Villapando of FPE said several endangered species, including the Philippine Eagle, have been spotted in Mt. Kimangkil and nearby forests.
“The presence of the eagle, the highest in the food chain, is the best proof that the forests are well preserved. These are virgin forests that have not been exploited by men,” said Villapando during the conference.
In the conference, participants, including over 80 representatives of tribes, government officials, academe and NGOs, firmed up their commitment to preserve and expand the Kimangkil forest corridor. The conference also supported the Mintapod Declaration as they recognized the capacity of the Higaonons to guard the forests using traditional practices.
“Guarding the forests has been carried out by Higaonons without the use of violent means. Enforcement of customary law is proven effective so the only thing to do is to strengthen these,” said Miks Padilla, project manager of the Building Forest Corridor through Sustainable Ancestral Domain Management Project.
Padilla added that while the integrity of the Kimangkil forest corridor is facing an immediate threat with several mining applications being processed by the local government, efforts to preserve the watershed are already gaining ground.
“This project will empower local communities in the sustainable management of indigenous forest corridors through interdisciplinary strategies such as land titling, livelihood development, law enforcement, and conservation,” said Padilla.
Tribal chieftain Amay Matangkilan is all too glad that outside help is pouring in to help them protect their habitat.
“We have existing Bantay Kalasan or guardians of the forest who make regular rounds around the forest. We don’t usually carry firearms but we have ways to defend ourselves and the forest if ever hostile groups enter our territory without permission,” Amay Matangkilan told the Inquirer through an interpreter.
Under Amay Matangkilan’s leadership, the Higaonons have been able to keep a balance of the forest ecosystem through customary zonification and self-regulation of sanctuaries and multiple use zones.
Traditional resource management and conservation practices, called Patagonan and Pina, have been lauded by experts as successful and should be strengthened rather than replaced.
“This is why we are also aiming during the conference to replicate the Kimangkil forest corridor concept in other remaining forests of Mindanao, like the Mount Pinukis in Zamboanga del Sur and Mount Balatucan in Misamis Oriental, among others,” explained Padilla.
Ban on plastics unleashed in Batasan Hills, Quezon City
Philippine Daily Inquirer
DRINKING palamig (sweetened drink) under the hot afternoon sun
will never be the same in a certain area in Quezon
City. Instead of the familiar plastic cup or cellophane with straw, one
will have to use a glass or any other Earth-friendly alternative in the
village of Batasan Hills.Village officials have banned the use of
plastic and styro cups and containers in serving palamig, soft drinks,
and other beverages in variety stores and canteens in the area.The
ordinance also covers ambulant vendors. The ban was contained in the
ordinance approved on September 9 by village chairman Ranulfo Ludovica. DJ Yap
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
That Styrofoam container keeping your coffee piping hot and your takeout sushi safely cool could be headed for the dustbin of history in "green" San Francisco next year under legislation being introduced today.
Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin is submitting the Food Service Waste Reduction Act, an ordinance that would require city restaurants and city departments to stop using Styrofoam and other brands of the plastic foam technically called polystyrene. The manufacturing of the material involves polluting chemicals, and it is blamed for cluttering landfills. The ban would take effect Jan. 1, 2007.
"This is a long time coming," Peskin said Monday. "Polystyrene foam products rely on nonrenewable sources for production, are nearly indestructible and leave a legacy of pollution on our urban and natural environments. If McDonald's could see the light and phase out polystyrene foam more than a decade ago, it's about time San Francisco got with the program."
chains hit for using non-biodegradable materials
slammed the popular fast food company McDonald’s for being unfriendly to
the environment in its continued use of plastics and styrofoam.
ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS UNITE TO FIGHT AGAINST LEGAL & ILLEGAL LOGGING
GRUPONG SAGIP SUPPORTS A BILL PROPOSAL AND JOINS WITH ECOLOGICAL GROUPS IN LOBBYING AGAINST PLASTIC HEGEMONY
Joel Colina 24, Passes Away by Annalyn Peralta via Email dated 9 November 2001