A proven Rainforestation Model established in Bukidnon
As an ardent and passionate supporter of environmental conservation and livelihood development (Annexes B&C), the Unifrutti Group and Hineleban Foundation have been working on Rainforestation technologies for 25 years (since 1990) and buffer zone IP stakeholder involvement over the last 8 years.
Hineleban developed a serial succession technology using calliandra to conquer cogon grass, with the calliandra then providing a grass free/fire free environment for indigenous forest trees to grow up and reestablish themselves as the terminal species of rainforestation sites. The technology has been studied and endorsed by the UPLB.
The second even more difficult challenge was to engage the IP’s living in the buffer zones so that they would stop cutting the remaining forests for their survival, and providing them with viable sustainable alternatives.
In December of 2012, the Unifrutti Group and Hineleban Foundation signed the “Sacred Customary Compacts” with the Seven Tribes of Bukidnon, duly recognizing their role as the custodians of the forests.
The Sacred Compact with the Unifrutti Group recognized the “native title rights” of the Seven Tribes with a payment of P1,000 per hectare per year for its banana plantations and P500 per hectare per year for its pineapple plantations – which money goes into a Trust Fund for the empowerment of the Seven Tribes of Bukidnon. Agriculture is the beneficiary of the rainfall and river waters that come from the mountain rainforests and should contribute to supporting those who can best care for and protect this most essential input of food production – and these are the lumads who live in the buffer zones of the remaining mountain forests.
The Sacred Compact with Hineleban Foundaton tasked Hineleban to jointly develop, with the Seven Tribes, working models of Kauyagan Food Self Sufficiency (3,700 sqm can feed a family of 7 with full nutritional requirements from indigenous crops) and for Sustainable Livelihood from cash crops like coffee/abaca/cacao/adlai and tree plantations.
The model of Sustainable Livelihood is through Transformational Business Partnerships where small farmer/lumad producers are in partnership with corporations that provide Technology, Process Management, Quality Control, and Marketing in a transparent relationship where market profits are transparently shared back down to the lumad farmer/producer of the goods.
An example of this Tranformational Business Partnership in practice is Hineleban Coffee, where the lumad partners have sustained twice the yields per hectare and with prices per kilo that are 300% over trader prices, giving them incomes that are 600% higher than what they were ever able to achieve independently. (www.hineleban.org)
Hineleban Foundation was also tasked by the Seven Tribes and the Province of Bukidnon to source the financing for the rainforestation of 44,000 hectares of the buffer zones of the six mountain ranges.
It was successful in obtaining a commitment from the French Development Agency (AFD) for the rainforestation of 44,000 hectares including the support components for the lumad’s Kauyagan and Sustainable Livelihood in the amount of P2.6 Billion. This covers about 9,000 hectares in Lanao del Sur and 35,000 hectares in Bukidnon.