Deforested Ancestral Lands of the Indigenous People

Decades of logging and slash-and-burn practices have caused cogon grass (Imperata cyclindrica) to take over the land in Bukidnon.  The roots of this highly acidic grass can strangle seedlings planted in its path. Simply weeding areas to plant tree seedlings fails to remove cogon.  Without the removal of this very acidic grass (its the soil that becomes acidic) which depletes the soil’s nutrients and with the presence of sunlight, cogon grows faster than any tree seedling. It’s very sturdy network of roots strangle any seedling planted along its midst.

Cogon also easily catches fire during the dry season, which not only burns any tree seedling planted within the cogon network, but since the heat and fire travels upwards, every dry season, the cogon burns a line of forest trees, hastening the destruction of our remaining primary forests.

Restoring the Soil and Starting the Partnership

Before any tree is planted, the land is cleared of weeds, particularly cogon and talahib, as these aggressive grasses can deprive newly planted trees of sunlight, nutrients, and space to grow. Calliandra is planted in cogonal areas as a fast growing tree species to conquer the acidic grass and fertilise the soil. Meanwhile, the Hineleban Foundation and the community work together on the following: 

  1. Respecting the signed Sacred Customary Compact
  2. Working with the values upheld by the 5 Pillars of the Indigenous People
  3. Participatory Community Impact Assessment (PCIA)
  4. Securing the tribe’s Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC)
  5. Participating in Rituals of the Indigenous People

Family Food Sufficiency Program

Indigenous communities work on their land to grow food for the tribe.  In a tradition called “hunglus”, one family is directed by the datu (chieftain) to grow food sustainably, with the help of neighbors as a form of apprenticeship.  Once the family becomes self-sufficient, other families follow. A 3,700 sqm farm plot can feed a family of 10 for a whole year, with full nutritional requirements coming from native crops such as adlai.  Livestock such as chickens, pigs, goats, and tilapia fish are grown as well. 

The calliandra grow rapidly to a certain height, shading and suppressing the growth of cogon and talahib, thus giving newly planted trees a better environment to grow and survive.

Sustainable Disposable Income

Indigenous farmers use their land and labor as their capital into the venture and is calculated in profit sharing of the added value product sold to the market. Depending on the soil and elevation of their villages, families in indigenous communities are provided with lutya/taro, Arabica coffee, giant bamboo, adlai, or abaca for planting.

The calliandra is harvested for firewood. It’s branches when cut, burns very hot in fire. It is a favorite for bakeshops that use traditional clay ovens (pugon) because it heats up fast and has a steady burn. They are now used by the Indigenous People as firewood for cooking, instead of cutting forest trees for fuel. When you cut calliandra branches or dehorn the tree, it regenerates and grows back. Caribbean pine trees and Brazilian fire trees, both exotic but non-invasive species, are planted next to support the growth of local trees. 

Transformational Business Partnerships

Under Hineleban Foundation’s Transformational Business Partnerships, a partner corporation takes charge of providing production and harvest technology. After harvest, the partner corporation also assists in quality control, processing, packaging, and marketing the products to consumers. The profit generated from the sales of the products is then shared with the communities on a 60-40 or 50-50 basis.

Local primary trees such as apitong and lauan are planted approximately one year later.  The calliandra, Caribbean pine trees, and Brazilian fire trees are harvested when they reach a mature size, having already served their purpose as nurse trees.  All that will be left is a canopy of indigenous trees with the structure and diversity of a tropical rainforest.

The Primary Forests are Restored and Wildlife is Protected

With your help, our watersheds can be restored for food production and bring life back to our rainforests.

Partner with a Community

You and your company can partner with a community and guide it towards self-sufficiency through our Transformative Business Partnerships.