Thirty (30) Indigenous Peoples (IP) tribal leaders (Datus) and 10 IP women from various communities in Bukidnon express commitment to support the rainforestation program in the province of Bukidnon.
During the said IP workshop, the AFD Country Director in the Philippines, Mr. Luc Le Cabellec,presented the ENhancing Governance of INtegrated Ecosystem through Reforestation and Livelihood Development in Mindanao (ENGINE- Refo).The IP tribal leaders concreted their commitment during the workshop organized by Hineleban Foundation Inc. on behalf of the French Development Agency (Agence Francaise Development).The workshop was held at Obrero’s Place in Manolo Fortich on June 10, 2014.
The ENGINE- Refo aims to develop an integrated land use planning, sustainable ecosystems and inclusive livelihood in the various indigenous communities in the province. The AFD eyes to uphold strong partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Provincial Government of Bukidnon, and the IP communities through Hineleban Foundation.
“We are frightened on the diminishing forest covers and livelihood of the IPs. We have developed a noble perspective to find solutions in this degradation. The ENGINE-Refo is not only a reforestation project, but an entry point towards sustainable ecosystem,” said Mr. Cabellec.
Prelude to the ENGINE-Refo implementation in 2016, the AFD will bring-in expertise in forestry management, agriculture conservation and grower’s associations before the year ends to conduct a feasibility study. Director Cabellec recognized the significant role and contributions of the Hineleban Foundation Inc. (HFI) headed by the CEO Dr. Urooj S. Malik in the protection and conservation of IP communities in the province.(Emmilou R. Gonzaga- HFI)