To further enhance the capacities of indigenous communities in asserting their rights in light of the implementation of the Enhanced National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) Act, a series of webinars on “Enhancing Capacities of IP Representatives on Effective Participation in the PAMB and Constructive Engagement with LGUs and Other Stakeholders” was conducted with the seven indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) in Luzon, Island Groups, and Mindanao from January to February 2021.
“Mula sa PES – kung ano gagawin para makipag negotiate sa mga gumagamit ng tubig sa baba hanggang sa pagmamapa, maging sa non-negotiable rights sa sariling pamamahala ng katutubo sa lupang ninuno- talagang makabuluhang dagdag kaalaman. Bibigyang-halaga namin ang mga natutunan,” Datu Rodino “Sayaw” Domogoy quoted during the closing ceremonies of the training.
“From PES – what we need to do during negotiations in the service we provide to the lowlanders through our watershed to the mapping session, and even in our non-negotiable rights in our traditional governance over our ancestral territories – all of these are indeed essential additional knowledge for us. We will value these learnings”
The training was implemented by the Philippine ICCA Consortium in partnership with Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC) and the Philippine Association for Inter-cultural Development (PAFID) in partnership with the IP leaders from partner ICCs such as: (1) Aytas affected by the Bataan National Park and (2) Aytas in Mariveles Watershed Forest Reserve in the Province of Bataan; (3) Buhid Mangyan and (4) Bangon Mangyan communities affected by the Mts. Iglit-Baco Natural Park and the Tamaraw Conservation Program in Mindoro Island; (5) Obo-Manuvu communities affected by the Mt. Apo National Park in Magpet, Cotabato; (6) Manobo communities affected by the Tinuy-An Waterfalls Protected Landscape in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur; and, (7) Manobo communities affected by the Tagibo and Anticala local Watersheds in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte.
Learning materials, in the form of print material and audio-visual lectures, were developed on 18 topics identified as knowledge gaps and capacity needs by the said communities. These materials were developed under the project, “Recognizing the Indigenous Communities behind the Conservation of Nature: A Project Pursuing the Full and Effective Participation of Indigenous Communities in the Implementation of the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System,” an initiative supported through the Sudden Opportunity Grant Facility of Voice, an initiative by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs executed in a consortium between OXFAM Novib and Hivos.
On 22 June 2018, the Enhanced National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) Act was enacted and declared in policy that the traditional governance of Indigenous cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) shall be recognized within protected areas (PAs). The ENIPAS is a ground-breaking legislation, first of its kind that clearly states the recognition of contribution to conservation and their traditional governance over Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs).