The Hineleban Foundation, a Filipino non-stock, non-profit organization, recently won the Grand Prize for Best Project in the Forestry Sector at an International Competition on Climate Change in Paris, France, held by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) which launched the first international competition on “Climate Challenge Agriculture and Forestry” in September, 2014.
The competition, which drew a total of 550 entries from 60 countries all over the world, aims to promote innovation and fast track the transfer and dissemination of technology and knowledge which are essential in bringing about innovative solutions for the future with regard to the impact of agriculture and forestry on climate change.
The winning project highlights Hineleban’s efforts to advance rainforestation on the island of Mindanao by providing livelihood opportunities to the Indigenous Peoples, Muslims and migrants living in the mountain ranges of Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur provinces in northern Mindanao.
The paper submitted by Hineleban that won the grand prize for the best project was written jointly by Dr. Urooj S. Malik, Chairman and CEO of Hineleban – a former director of Asian Development Bank where his career spanned over two and half decades – who has helped to conceptualize the foundation’s strategy and programs since joining it some six years ago, and Dr. Norma V. Llemit who is the Head of Project Management Group.
The award was received on behalf of Hineleban by Dr. Llemit who also specializes in social and community mobilization, and development and environmental communication and possesses over three decades of experience in advocacy, information campaigns and public awareness.
In the Talaandig-Higaunen language, Hineleban is a sacred word that stands for the highest mystical Spirit-Tagulambung of Service-Leadership in the Talaandig-Higaunen Tribal tradition. It comes from the root-word “heleb” which means “the virtue to gather others towards oneself.” A servant-leader who is infused by the Spirit of Hineleban is the center of unity and peaceful convergence of communities and peoples.
Hineleban seeks to help preserve and save the life the pristine ecosystems of Mindanao – some of the last remaining primary forests left in the entire Philppines. The foundation’s work is focused on reviving watersheds and rivers, renewing the cycles of life that would enable the healthy and peaceful coexistence among people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds, and preserving the gifts of nature.
Currently, the foundation is engaged in the preservation and restoration of mountain rainforests and critical watersheds in Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur, and plans to scale up as well as expand efforts to other selected Mindanao provinces.
Dr. Llemit receiving the best project award from the AFD and CIRAD officials during the awarding ceremony at the AFD-CIRAD Stand of the International Agricultural Show in Paris, France.