Author: Leah Abayao
Policy Landscape for Customary Forest Management in the Philippine Cordilleras
Abstract: Forest management strategies in the Philippines recognize the cultural attributes of forests and customary practices accorded to them. Local communities view forests as an essential and contiguous resource. The Philippine Cordilleras is home to local community forests, natural and man-made or built. Natural forests are held collectively and managed according to customary practices. Man-made forests are developed by kin groups. These are small patches of forests that when surveyed make up a significant portion of the community’s natural resources. The “principle of collective ownership of forests” and the “customary tenurial security” are important principles in sustainable forest management in the Philippine Cordilleras. Agencies and local government units (LGUs) are challenged to strengthen their capacity to proactively encourage contemporary customary principles and practices to be used alongside official processes. These customary principles, when used within existing platforms, will prepare communities to face issues that affect their customary forests. Forests in some parts of the Cordilleras are tenured customarily, and such tenure comes with responsibility under the customary regime. The customary regime needs to be given equal attention in official processes to strengthen and effectively enforce forest local governance.
Keywords: Forest management, Indigenous Knowledge, Cordillera, SDG, Philippines
Abayao, Leah. 2021. “Policy Landscape for Customary Forest Management in the Philippine Cordilleras.” Philippine Journal of Public Policy: Interdisciplinary Development Perspectives 2021. https://doi.org/10.54096/UQAY7118.