Groups back bill strengthening IPs role in managing conservation areas

RECOGNIZING the role of indigenous peoples (IPs) in managing key biodiversity and critical areas, various groups recently rallied behind House Bill 115 or the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Conserved Areas and Territories (ICCA) Act.

In a forum co-organized by the National Economic and Development Authority in Northern Mindanao (NEDA 10) and the Xavier Science Foundation (XSF), representatives from the national government agencies, local government units, civil society, RDC-10 accredited private sector organizations, academe, and the IP groups and mandatory representatives moved to support the bill filed by Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat of the Lone District of Ifugao Province.

“The bill aims to provide a system of recognition, registration, protection and promotion of the ICCAs in the country, strengthen land governance in ICCAs, and recognizes Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSP) as effective conservation mechanisms”, Baguilat said.

The ICCAs refer to ecosystems containing high biodiversity values, ecological services, and cultural values which are voluntarily managed by IP groups and local communities though customary laws or other effective means.

XSF Executive Director Roel R. Ravenera said that based on international studies, areas managed by local communities/IPs are better in terms of conservation and preservation.

Currently, about 10 million Filipinos are IPs and many of them live in protected areas which are also considered biodiversity hotspots and critical areas.

There were three panelists from the academe, government sector, and IP group who unanimously support the region’s objective to continually adopt sustainable resource utilization practices and activities, and respect for human rights, beliefs, traditions and culture of the IPs.

Inputs and recommendations to enhance the provisions of the bill were also generated from the participants through a workshop. (PR)


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.