One more mini-grant !

Following the trip to Manila of the traditional chiefs (panglimas) organized by the ALDAW network (this was sponsored by the first mini-aid), a new meeting on 7 September 2011 at the national office of the NCIP (National Commission of Indigenous Peoples) has taken an important decision: the Commission is prepared to stall any decision delivering a « Certificate of Precondition » to the group MacroAsia until those who oppose the open-pith nickel mining will have submitted a « Plan for the protection of sustainable development of the ancestral territories » (ADSDPP).

This constitutes a heavy task, it requires the mobilization of all the communities concerned, lots of documents will have to be written, data gathered, maps drawn, etc. But it also is a unique chance to demonstrate to the NCIP the unity of the indigenous populations and their capability to come up with a plan for the sustainable management of their territories, based on ancestral knowledge. This plan will have to reflect the broad consensus of the various communities concerned, in opposing MacroAsia’s mining project which would have serious consequences for their lives.

ALDAW already has gathered complete knowledge about the traditional management techniques of the Palawan populations, it knows where the sacred sites and all their cultural sites are located, and appreciates the impact that MacroAsia’s activities would have on these territories. But now the NCIP has to be convinced. The enormous work of compiling the dossier is of course completely alien to the indigenous oral culture. Yet ALDAW naturally plans to collaborate closely with the local populations. Many meetings in each one of the communities concerned will have to be –or have already been- arranged ; in the « baranguays » (districts) of Aribungos, Barong-barong, Ipilan, Mambalot, Maasin and Calasaguen, in Brooks Point municipality. Two seminars of 3 days each have already been organized, bringing together various traditional chieftains, in october and December 2011.

The Paul K. Feyerabend Foundation has decided to support this urgent and important initiative.