MALAYBALAY City, PH — Twenty-seven (27) Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) and PASu staff met with twelve (12) researchers from various universities and colleges in Mindanao in the workshop on Documenting IKSP using Participatory Action Research on March 6-8 at the Bukidnon State University (BukSU).
The participants discussed the value of research for the effective management of protected areas as well as the value of understanding the Indigenous Knowledge, Systems and Practices (IKSP) of the indigenous peoples for the conservation of biodiversity.
The workshop dealt with participatory tools in data collection, data collation and analysis. In data collection, tools were divided in two category of Storytelling and Community Mapping.
Common tools used by the academe like Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and In-Depth Interview (IDI) were considered variation of storytelling while technical mapping or use of technology such as GIS and drones were variation or technology improvement of the basic community visualisation or mapping.
For the data collation and analysis, the workshop brought out two tools which is the simple matrix of data where one column is the agreed themes or topic while the other column states the data and where it was taken. The reporting or presentation of the “stories” or results is in the framework of 5W and 1H (Who, What When Where Why and How) or KUKANG in the Visayan language translation of the 5W-1H.
The participants appreciated the tools use for the workshop which is also Storytelling and the practice of Planning—Reflection—Action cycle.
They have committed to work on the topic and continue to collaborate with the each other not only to help fulfil their mandate but more importantly contribute to the two-pronged objectives of biodiversity conservation and empowerment of indigenous peoples.
One participant even suggested to work with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and DENR to conduct a participatory action research to document IKSP in all the protected area that overlaps with ancestral domain all over Mindanao. The viability of this suggestion is something that the Mindanao PAMB Network will discuss.
Looking back more than a year ago, the participants said that the first meeting of protected area practitioners and the academic institution was the forum “setting of Research Agenda for PAs in Mindanao”.
They said that this forum, dubbed as “monumental handshake” has come a long way towards furthering the research collaboration for more inclusive and effective protected area management.
The author, Adonis Gonzales is the Senior Advisor for Indigenous People and Biodiversity of GIZ-COSERAM.
All photos in this article are by the Bukidnon State University (BukSU); used with permission. BukSU is a partner academic institution of GIZ-COSERAM in Northern Mindanao.