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Christian Shearer
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Joined:
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17/02/2011
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Reforesting the Sarangani Forest in Philippines

Posted by Christian Shearer over 7 years ago

Here is the job that I am working on currently. Very exciting. Reforesting southern Philippines. Starting with 3000Ha

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

 

THREE THOUSAND HECTARES, 5 MILLION ENDEMIC/INDIGENOUS TREES REFORESTATION PROJECT

USING PERMACULTURE PRINCIPLES AND DESIGN

FOR DEVELOPMENT IN MALUNGON, SARANGANI PROVINCE

IN MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES

 

PARTNERSHIP OF WEFOREST.ORG, BENTLEY HOUSE INTERNATIONAL CORPRATION AND THE BLAAN AND TAGAKAULO TRIBES

.

 

PROJECT LOCATION

 

SITE: Malungon, Sarangani province, Philippines

 

AREA OF COVERAGE:

 

Barangay

Sitio Covered

 

Area for Reforestation (ha)

1. Malungon Gamay

Kibawalan

 

289.55

2. JP Laurel

Tagbungan

353.96

 

Sabangan

 

365.12

3. Kinabalan

Tambulang

224.07

 

Bungaran

112.24

 

Patulang

 

1398.64

4. San Juan

Unnamed Sitio

 

256.6182

 

 

TOTAL LAND AREA

3000.2

 

 

 

PROJECT BENEFICIARIES: 10,000 local residents of the Blaan and Tagakaulo Tribes, in the above mentioned barangays.

 

PHILIPPINE CONTACT PERSONS :

Jonathon Bentley-Stevens,

President,

Bentley House International Corp.

 

Datu Edmond Pangilan

Provincial Chieftain

 

Mayor Reynaldo Constantino

Municipal Mayor, Malungon

Sarangani Province

 

Cooperating Organizations :

 

  • WeForest.Org

  • Bentley House International Corp.

  • Indigenous Peoples Center for Development Services, Inc (IPCDS)

  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources

  • NCIP: National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.

  • Terra Genesis International Plc Ldt. (TGI)

 

BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW:

 

Carbon dating of earthenware and pottery indicates that the Blaan and Tagakaulo tribes have inhabited these ancestral land since at lease 500BC. Over the past 150 years, the rich forest that has always provided their means of existence was sold by outside influences, for $1.00 a tree. In 1995, the tribes were given their bare land back, and are trying to replant with the meager resources available to them.

 

PROJECT MISSION:

 

  • To plant 5 million trees in the Sarangani province, completely reforesting an area of 3000 hectares and restoring the indigenous ecosystems.

     

  • To work with the local tribes and the cooperating organizations to increase the health, education, income and overall well-being of the people of the above mentioned barangays.

 

 

 

Total Project Cost: $1.3 million

 

Project Status: New

 

Project Duration 3 years

 

Project Area: 3,000 hectares

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The Malungon area of the Sarangani province was once one of the richest forests in the world. Today the remaining old growth exists in small, fragmented stands which remain vulnerable to illegal deforestation and degradation. Frequently ignored, these last remaining areas are a vital core habitat for a wide range of fauna and flora. This forest has also been, for at least 2000 years, the centerpiece of the culture and lifestyle of the Blaan and Tagakaulo indigenous peoples.

 

Miraculously, throughout Philippine history these tribes have been able to hold on to basically independent status of their lands (though more than a few lives were lost fighting the Spanish). It was not until the Marcos era that their ancestral lands were stripped. Logging concessions were given out at an astonishing rate, and between the years of 1960 and 1990, over 85% of the 250,000 hectare Sarangani forest came under the saw. Large corporate interests from around the world were often given the rights to large swaths of land at a cost of $1 per tree. They would ship this internationally and sell the old growth mahogany for thousands of times that price. Today only 12% of that forest remains.

 

During the 1990's under the Ramos administration, the fortunes of the indigenous people took a turn for the better. Ramos immediately made further logging illegal and even canceled those concessions that had already been given. With passage of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act 1997 the Blaan and Tagakaulo tribes for the first time retained official title to their land. Together they were given 74,000 hectares (165,760 acres) on the Torrens Title System. And other tribal peoples retained titles to the vast majority of the entire Sarangani forest area.

 

This was an unprecedented milestone for these peoples, but left them with a largely denuded and eroding landscape. Since that time, they have worked to replant forest, and establish agricultural systems for themselves that do not harm their land even more, but often they are forced through the hardships of the land to farm on very steep slopes and to resort to production of charcoal as a means of generating and income. Both of these practices have led not to a restoration of the land, but a further degradation.

 

The prime objective of this project is to work with the Blaan and Tagakaulo tribes to help them replant their native lands. The objectives are multi-faceted, with aims both for the well being of the environment (local and global) as well as the integral well being of the people (physical, social and economic). We sincerely hope that we can help the children, and the children's children of these tribes to know a homeland of abundance, not one of scarcity and frustration.

 

With this 3000 hectares we are starting a project that we believe can ultimately cover over 100,000 hectares of the Sarangani forest. The project so designed to be replicated in other areas inhabited by the Indigenous tribes of Mindanao.

 

1. PROJECT DESCRIPTION

 

A forest plays an important role in ecological stability by serving as a natural water reservoir as well as a habitat of our wildlife and the indigenous tribes there within. Since our forests are mostly degraded, rehabilitating them is a lifetime activity.

 

Regenerating a natural forest (Philippine Mahogany, Apitong, Lauan, Molave Narrra, Dao, and other indigenous species etc.) is usually done through seeds and wildlings. Dipterocarp seeds and wildlings, however, are not always available in big quantities when we need them.

 

The development program follows something so called the framework species concept, wherein the forest is planted with a select number of starting species which encourage the return of birds, animals, insects and provide the ecosystems services which set the stage for the natural regeneration of a truly diverse and healthy forest. A forest planted in this way can start with 30 varieties and see over 150 varieties of trees growing in less than 10 years. Our focus is not on the success of the trees themselves, but on the forest in general.

 

We will also be working with the local people to establish areas of agroforestry, mixed orchards, perennial food systems and annual gardens. To meet all of our objectives and have long term success, these are of critical importance.

 

GENERAL AND SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

 

    1) To plant 5 million trees in the Sarangani province, completely reforesting an area of 3000 hectares and restoring the indigenous ecosystems. When completed this process will:

 

  • provide habitat for countless indigenous species of birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and plants

  • stabilize the soil / reduce erosion

  • raise the water table, increase flows in local waterways, while also reducing drought and floods

  • provide an ongoing source of agroforestry materials to the locals for their local use and income generation

  • sequester carbon from the atmosphere, helping to counteract the affects of global climate change.

     

    2) To work with the local tribes and the cooperating organizations to increase the health, education, income and overall well-being of the people of the above mentioned barangays in the following ways (amongst others):

 

  •  
    • increase the economic well being of the local people, while substituting current harmful sources of income with others that benefit the overall wellbeing of people and environment

    • bringing locally generated electricity to the region (solar or micro-hydro where applicable)

    • sourcing funding for the improvement of the schools

    • providing seeds and markets for their agricultural endeavors

    • working with the government to improve roads

 

 

P1030188 P1030199 P1030241 P1030267

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Ethan Roland
Ethan Roland : Great work Christian - keep us posted as things move forward!
Posted over 7 years ago

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