Solidarity and joint learning and action among indigenous communities resisting oil-palm monocultures in the islands of Palawan and Mindanao (The Philippines).
With this initiative the Foundation supports a search for mechanisms to give the stronger possible voice to indigenous communities affected (or potentially affected) by oil palm monocultures in Palawan and Mindanao—two main islands in the Philippines’ archipelago. The researcher/ activist who will carry out the initiative will visit a number of communities and assist them in gathering and sharing information while acquiring useful knowledge and skills. The idea is to nourish solidarity through mutual awareness and reciprocal support in learning. The communities’ understanding of relevant national policies and international treaties and declarations will improve, and some of their members will learn how to geo-tag visual information in reconnaissance visits. Through that, their advocacy strategies will become much more effective.
There exist supportive policies, codes of conduct and mechanisms, in the Philippines, to sustain the struggles of indigenous peoples against the encroachment of corporations on their ancestral lands and domains. These, however, have to be well known to be mobilized. Indigenous communities affected or potentially affected by oil palm monocultures will be facilitated to exchange among themselves and develop some consensual position, which will then be brought by them to national and international levels institutions and forums. It is expected that the exchanges will be stimulating and creative, generating lessons that will be valuable for policy makers and project planners. The ultimate objective is to influence Filipino policy makers, so that indigenous, culturally-specific views are taken into account in policy making and policy reforms. The initiative, which is carried out in collaboration with Rainforest Rescue, will promote better communication and collaboration among indigenous communities affected by oil palm monocultures across the region, and among such communities and the makers and implementers of policies affecting them.
For more information on the impacts of oil palm monocultures please see:
- PART 1: The environmental and social impact of oil palm expansion on Palawan UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve (The Philippines)
- PART 2: Samples of geo-coded photos of oil palm locations and impacted areas