BIODIVERSITY PARTNERSHIPS PROJECT MEETING
WITH MT. SIBURAN’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
by: Ma. Grace Laurente-Agatep
Elna Y. Yoo
 

meeting penro sablayan

meeting penro sablayan2

 

          On January 30, 2013, a meeting was conducted at CENRO-Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro for the purpose of clarifying some issues and concerns relative to the implementation of Biodiversity Partnerships Project (BPP) in Mt. Siburan, one of the projects currently undertaken by PAWCZMS. It was organized by PAWCZMS, headed by RTD Gwendolyn Bambalan, and in coordination with its project partner Haribon Foundation. Present during the said meeting were staffs of the regional office, PENRO-Occidental, CENRO-Mamburao, and CENRO-Sablayan, representative of National Council for Indigenous People, and members of Mangyan Tau-Buid and Mangyan Alangan. Presentations on BPP updates and Mt. Siburan were made by Mr. Charlou Ormiga of Haribon Foundation and Daniel Estarija of CENRO-Sablayan, respectively.

          Likewise, elders of Mangyan Tau-Buid and Mangyan Alangan sought the help of DENR-MIMAROPA and its project partners in resolving conflicts of boundaries between Sablyan Prison Penal Farm (SPPF) and those covered by Certificates of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) located within Mt. Siburan. Hence, RTD Bambalan directed that actions should be made to address this concern.

          However, until at present, the Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) has yet to be issued by NCIP signifying the consensus of all members of IPs concerned as to the implementation of the BPP in their area. FPIC is a document required under Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) where all permits, licenses within ancestral domains cannot be granted without an FPIC from affected indigenous communities. Provincial Coordinator of NCIP, Ms. Eden Senon, discussed the guidelines and procedures involved in the issuance of FPIC. It was agreed that PAWCZMS will initiate the necessary endorsement to facilitate the initial processing of FPIC while the NCIP-Regional Office will give recommendations for the conduct of Pre-Field based Investigation (FBI) by NCIP in the Provincial level. On the other hand, Haribon Foundation will provide the allocation of funds for the conduct of FBI. Further, the employment of at least two technical staffs by Haribon Foundation was agreed to be recommended by Mangyan Tau-Buid and Mangyan Alangan to work on the project and to represent the said tribal groups.

  The said meeting is only one of the preparatory actions of the implementing partners of BPP geared toward the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity resources through coordination with indigenous people in Mt. Siburan. Notably, Mt. Siburan is a key biodiversity area being the habitat of threatened and endemic species such as the Mindoro Bleeding-Heart Pigeon, Mindoro Hornbill, among others, which are globally significant for biodiversity conservation. 

 

 

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