Indigenous forest management and climate mitigation: INAYAN as the underlying principle in Sagada forest management system
Minnie Degawan (Kankana-ey)
Director, Indigenous and Traditional Peoples Program, Conservation International
In Sagada, part of the Philippines Mountain Province, the Kankana-ey Igorot rely on the principle of inayan to manage their forest system. Inayan governs how people relate with the forests and how not observing it causes problems in the community. As the community undergoes changes due to tourism and other economic activities, the concept of inayan is also rapidly being eroded or forgotten. The presentation will then show examples of how this has affected the natural environmental resources - loss of water, increasing landslides, etc. and how the community is now attempting to recover some of the lost values and hopefully prevent further forest loss/degradation. This presentation demonstrates the importance of bringing in indigenous concepts, values and practices into REDD+ and other forest climate programmes.
Minnie Degawan is a Kankanaey-Igorot from the Cordillera, Philippines. She has been an activist for indigenous peoples rights since her student days when she joined mass mobilizations calling for the cancellation of the World Bank funded Chico River Dam project that would have meant the death of the Kalinga and Bontoc Igorots. After the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship, she joined the Cordillera People Alliance in working for the recognition of the right to self-determination of the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera through community educatio, and organizing. The years she spent as a community educator/organizer provided her the necessary grounding to be involved in international policy advocacy work, she actively participated in the drafting of the UNDRIP and in the discussions leading to the formation of the UNPFII. She would later on become the Secretary General of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance and an active member of the International Coordinating Committee of the International Alliance of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests. She is currently Director of the Indigenous and Traditional Peoples Program at Conservation International.