Indigenous Forest Stewards - Development of Forest-based DRRM training course
Philippine Eagle Foundation
San Fernando, Bukidnon
In a nutshell, conservation and protection of the environment are closely linked to disaster risk reduction. According to UN Declaration of IP Rights article 29, “indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources.” Given the potential impact of disasters on indigenous peoples’ lands and their productive capacity, sound disaster risk reduction strategies, developed with the active participation of indigenous peoples, would contribute to the fulfillment of the article. Applying the concept of Disaster Risk Reduction by providing the suitable capacity to indigenous people and providing the incentives would reduce the risks brought by existing hazards, vulnerabilities, and community exposure to certain risks.
In a forest guarding scheme, we proposed an Alternative Learning Modality for the Indigenous Stewards through a transformative and operational community/forest-culture-based DRRM. This aims to assist the indigenous community in creating a functional system that targets the DRRM by increasing the capacity of the indigenous forest guards through a formal skills training program under TESDA and LGU DRRM. A pool of indigenous forest guards who will become skilled DRRM persons will surely help the community minimize their risk to disaster while also sustaining their basic needs, rejuvenating their culture and tradition, and protecting their environment. As an offshoot, the initiative will generate green jobs/environmentally sound jobs that can be replicated to other IP sites. The remaining forest will be protected, conserved, and even restored while also achieving optimum preparedness, safety, and security in times of disaster. With a sound DRRM system in-placed, the ecocultural-tourism will also grow in the area as a safe and secure place to unwind.