DENR, USAID launch book on Mt. Kitanglad's tribal communities

With 6-21 mt. kitanglad book launch resizedthe aim to showcase the tribal norms, cultural policies and the many aspects of the tribal communities living in Mt. Kitanglad, the book “The Wisdom Keepers of Mt. Kitanglad” was recently launched by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) together with Kitanglad Integrated NGOs (KIN) at Seda Abreeza Hotel, Davao City.
In behalf of DENR-XI’s Regional Director Ruth M. Tawantawan, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Marcia G. Isip emphasized on her message that through collaborative efforts of DENR and the B+WISER in the creation and implementation of LAWIN System, allowed them to collaborate with the tribal community in Mt. Kitanglad that paved way in the production of the book.
“We hope that the launching of this book opens opportunities for similar projects in the different parts of the Philippines. There are many heritage sites that deserved to be celebrated and we hope that the launching of Wisdom Keepers is just the beginning,” she said. 
On the other hand, USAID Mission Director to the Philippines Lawrence Hardy II lauded the strong partnership of DENR, the local government of Bukidnon, the indigenous people of Mt. Kitanglad and other NGOs as their dedication and hard work contributed to the successful protection and conservation of the environment in the region while preserving the culture of the tribal communities at the same time.
“This is a testimony of how strong partnerships between the government, the local community and development partners can effect lasting and tangible improvements to the natural environment that can help restore and sustain healthy habitats for the Philippines’ rich biodiversity,” Hardy added.    
Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park (MKRNP), an ASEAN Heritage Park, is home to the Talaandig, Bukidnon, and Higaonon tribes. With the support of the DENR, the B+WISER partnered with the tribal community groups and the Kitanglad Integrated NGOs in conducting research and documentation on the indigenous peoples’ culture to come up with such book.
Aside from the launching of the book, DENR’s Assistant Secretary for Staff Bureaus Ricardo L. Calderon presented the state of LAWIN Forest and Biodiversity Protection System implementation in Mindanao. LAWIN is a science-based assessment using innovative technology in monitoring the status of the environment especially the forest and biodiversity as well as the possible threats for this ecosystem.
Launched on 2016, LAWIN allows the communities and environment authorities to alleviate the status of the natural forest and also to properly manage the ecosystem against degradation and deforestation.


Hands-On-ARMS outreach activity held

To raise awareness and highlight the importance of coastal and marine resources to the local communities, especially to the youth, Department of Environment and Natural Resources -XI through its Coastal Resources and Foreshore Management Section (CRFMS) and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Compostela Valley recently conducted the Hands-On-ARMS outreach activity at Mabini Protected Landscape and Seascape (MPLS), Compostela Valley.

This interactive activity was participated by selected Grade 6 students from Don William Gemperle Elementary School in Mabini. The participants were given an opportunity to learn and observe the marine cryptobiota using a simple hand lens or magnifying glass and forceps. They also sorted and classified these small animals into their respective groups.

Despite their small size, marine cryptobiota provides various ecological good and services and serves as primary building blocks of the coral reef. Marine cryptobiota includes shrimps, crabs, hermit crabs, brittle stars, sponges, and tunicates, among others.

As part of DENR's Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP), the Department monitors cryptobiota with the use of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS), a long-term collecting device that mimics the coral reef and attract these animals. The data will be collected to study on their biodiversity and the effects of climate change on reefs.



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