PROJECT UPDATING: Tamaraw Conservation Project (TCP) and New Conservation Areas in the Philippines Project (NEWCAPP)
Leonila V. Castro
Two of the projects currently undertaken by The Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Sector (PAWCZMS) of DENR-IVB-MIMAROPA are Tamaraw Conservation Project (TCP) and New Conservation Areas in the Philippines Project (NEWCAPP). TCP is a government initiative to save Tamaraws from extinction. On the other hand, NEWCAPP aims to expand and strengthen the terrestrial protected area (PA) system in the Philippines by developing new PA models and building capacity for effective management of the system.
The PAWCZMS-Regional Office, headed by RTD Gwendolyn C. Bambalan, visited the TCP Office San Jose, Occidental Mindoro last January 28, 2013 to discuss the composition of TCP staffs, status of programs undertaken by TCP such as swine dispersal program, IEC program, and other livelihood program, conduct of Survey and Registration of Protected Area Occupants (SRPAO) through its park rangers, holding of capability training/paralegal seminar come second quarter of CY 2013, and the possible issuance of Protected Area Community-Based Management Agreement (PACBRMA) between and among the DENR and the organized tenured migrant communities or interested indigenous peoples in Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park (MIBNP).
The group visited the Tamaraw Gene Pool, the home of lone captive-breed Tamaraw “Kalibasib”, in Brgy. Manoot, Rizal, Occidental Mindoro. RTD Bambalan emphasized the area’s need for improvement to make it suitable as a rescue center for Tamaraw and other endangered species in Occidental Mindoro. Additionally, there is also a need to develop the area into one of Occidental Mindoro’s top tourist destinations for income-generating purposes and financial sustainability.
Moreover, a meeting was held at Sitio Mangtancob, Brgy. Poypoy, Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro with Mangyan Tau-Buid and Mangyan Alangan tribal leaders and its local community members to discuss programs to be undertaken by PAWCZMS and its project partners under NEWCAPP.
During the said meeting, the Mangyan Tau-Buid and Mangyan Alangan tribal leaders related that they have limited understanding of the project activities and that they are still waiting for the implementation of the said project. Project activities are being spearheaded by AnthroWatch, the local site partner of DENR and a non-government organization that is tasked to provide, among others, research, capacity-building and assistance in gathering anthropological data such as ethnographies, census and genealogy required for Certificate Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) application. To further achieve project activities of NEWCAPP, collaborative efforts are presently undertaken by the DENR, AnthroWatch, National Commission for the Indigenous People (NCIP), and IPs. Hence, said parties are working on the creation of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) whereby they will agree to serve as partners in the conservation and protection of the area concerned. Further, the immediate implementation of the Indigenous Community Conservation Area (ICCA) project was also being suggested in order to control the entry of Siganon tribe and to prevent the continuous degradation of the natural resources within MIBNP.
Moreover, RTD Bambalan requested tribal leaders to endorse a resolution supporting NEWCAPP. Once so endorsed, Eden Cenon of NCIP will effect the issuance of NCIP Clearance or the Certificate of Recognition manifesting such support by IPs. RTD Bambalan made a commitment to recommend to the Protected Area and Wildife Bureau (PAWB) the hiring of two technical staffs from IPs who will act as their representative in the implementation of NEWCAPP activities. Likewise, it was also conveyed that the 3-dimensional map for land use mapping of ancestral domain within MIBNP will be installed in Sitio Mangtancob.