Southeast Asia ICCA Consortium Resolution supporting the self-determined  ethno-solidarity tourism of Ayta-Abellen of Maporac, Cabangan, province of Zambales, Central Luzon, Philippines, for the protection of biodiversity, preventing loss and damage from climate change impacts and ensuring their rights as Indigenous Peoples

WE, the Indigenous Peoples participants and delegates, 5th Regional General Assembly of the Southeast Asia Indigenous Peoples Community Conserved Territories and Areas Consortium representing Cambodia, Indonesia Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam:

Affirming Article 25 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples “recognizing indigenous peoples’ spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned lands;”

Additionally Affirming Target 3 of the Global Biodiversity Framework of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework “recognizing indigenous traditional territories” and “ensuring that any sustainable use is fully consistent with conservation outcomes, recognizing and respecting the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, including over their traditional territories;”

Further Affirming the United Nation World Tourism Organization Consulting Unit on Tourism and Biodiversity that calls for “participatory tourism planning, and connecting biodiversity-based tourism to over-all economic development” and raising “awareness on the role of biodiversity in adaptation of tourism to climate change;”

Concerned over migrants, that for generations have been trusted and treated with kindness by Ayta-Abellen now take advantage of the peoples’ illiteracy and by exploiting financial disparities between Aeta-Abellen and Migrants, to take over areas from the hands of the local indigenous community; 

Deeply concerned, of the snatching from peoples’ hands of areas held and valued as “paradise” by Aeta-Abellen as unjust, depriving them of honest recognition and true respect despite the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act, UNDRIP and numerous international human rights obligations the Philippine government is signatory to.

Whereas two areas being sought for tourism control by non-Aeta-Abellen entities include Nagbobotilya and Dapya, that the Aeta-Abellen lay claim to as a resource within their ancestral land and locally conserved for their irreplaceable cultural value and heritage beauty. 

Whereas the Aeta-Abellen of Maporac fought hard through means legal and within their inherent rights as a community of distinction, to obtain the first official recognition of their traditional territory by government through a Certificate of ancestral Domain Claim (CADC) of 1996, a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) of 2010, and as a community self-declared Indigenous Peoples’ Community Conserved Territory and Area with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (BMB-DENR) 2015.

Whereas the Maporac ICCA otherwise known as Maalagay Dogal of the Aeta-Abellen has gained entry as officially registered ICCA  in the United Nations Environment Program – World Conservation and Monitoring Center (UNEP-WCMC) ICCA Registry in 2016. We call on the GEF, UNDP, UNEP, UNWTO provide necessary layers of support for the Maalagay Dogal of the Aeta-Abellen.

Supports the desired Eco-Ethic Tourism, as designed by Aeta-Abellen that promote solidarity between visitors and the host community, where benefits circulate in the local village economy, and where every visit become endorsement of the Aeta-Abellen’s right to self-determined development, through pursuit of tourism that ensure respect for indigenous peoples’ rights to land, and one that raise awareness on the role of biodiversity in adaptation of tourism to climate change.

Joining in solidarity with the Aeta-Abellen of Maporac in their collective desire for prosperity through recognition of human and collective indigenous peoples’ rights, respect for mother nature, peace in every part of society, everywhere and more than ever, for all indigenous peoples of Asia!

Signed, March 8, 2024, Subic, Bataan

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