Indigenous Voices

Is there a Mitigation Happening on the Ground? or Rather More Questions than Solutions?

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2010 at 4:20 pm

…more than 2 years ago, IP communities in the Cordillera, Philippines that I visited are not at all aware of the climate change-global warming  issue which the globe is confronting now. And thanks for the education and information efforts of NGO activists and group of people, they are now connected to the world. Ironically, the Philippine government has attended meetings and conferences of the parties years since then but  even the mainstream society are not updated, so what more among indigenous peoples especially in a far-flung IP communities. Nevertheless, impact of climate change to the IP communities is not a new stuff to them for they are used to the so-called “earth phenomenon” many times in the past, and they were able to survive through their traditional way of life free from any external disturbances. But this current “earth phenomenon” is totally different from that of the past decades. It is a radical warming of the earth brought about by the 1st worlds in the North. These countries are supposedly accountable to the  3rd world countries especially the IPs. But look what’s happening now. These rich countries are pointing their fingers to us peoples in the 3rd world countries. Is it not their moral obligations to act with urgency? Again, for my almost  2 weeks stay in the IP communities this June of the current year, hoping to get solutions to my questions, but to my dismay, sacks of  questions have confronted us about government projects being implemented in these communities related to climate change. And to cite from these questions, “are these projects the solutions to global-warming-climate change?”  And I’m sure to their dismay also because I answered them back  with a question. Yes, I have more of questions than answers from/to the Philippine government and to the UNFCC.#


Burning Bushes, Burning Promises…lives in the forefront of hell! in “The Journey to the Mountains”.

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2010 at 4:06 pm
Photo by Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera (CDPC)

Photo by Center for Development in the Cordillera (CDPC)

In our 5 days travel from Baguio City to the provinces of Mt. Province, Ifugao, then Nueva Viscaya and finally back to the province of Benguet, we passed through rugged roads and BURNING MOUNTAINS! Perplex emotions was the mode during this travel. Honestly, our travel aim is to consult with various peoples’ organizations’ plans for food production and environment protection and preservation towards sustainability. This is  ironic because about 38 kilometers away from Baguio, is to witness the 1st burning mountain of this travel. Then the 2nd burning mountain about 57 kilometers away, then the 3rd burning mountain on our 2nd night in one community, then again the 4th burning mountain in our way going to Sagada.  Mercy! we suffered not only the hit of the sun and dusts being blown by the wind while hiking along mountains, but also the hit and smoke of the burning forests on our left and on our right.  And while resting my cramping feet in the office of a partner NGO, I can’t hardly believe what I’ve witnessed for the past 3 days –  the distressful  situations of the villages and the burning of forests. I thought that was it for the travel but to my dis

may and I say NOT AGAIN! while approaching another village along the Bontoc-Banaue road where the 5th burning  and again the 6th burning mountain sighted, and mind you, Mt Polis is 35 kilometers away. We reached Banawe and rested there for a night. At least I slept for about 4 hours that night and already prepared the following day for another burning mountains as we go on with the trip.  The meeting with Peoples’ Organization representatives in Lagawe, Ifugao was emotional on my part because I recounted with them what I’ve witnessed for the past

Photo by Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera (CDPC)

days about the burning mountains. And in one way or the other, it helps because the consultation was very fruitful especially the POs’  program on the protection and preservation of the environment-forests & watersheds. On our way back home as we pass through Nueva Viscaya, I thought that my agony has passed and enough of the burning mountains, but I was completely wrong because the worst burning mountains are ahead of us and even huge fire is rapidly encroaching from one mountain to the other. This is the scene until finally reached Baguio at 8.30 in the evening. I was a kind of drained emotionally & physically thus I forgot to continue counting the burning mountains. I thought that all in all there were

Photo by Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera (CDPC)

about 10 burning mountains that cried for help as we completed the journey to the mountains.

For this I humbly call on the attention of concerned agencies of the Philippine Government. Are these wild forest fires or are human-induced forest fires? Is this now the final warning of the worst to come effect of climate change?

Where is the change?  the Philippines program to mitigate  Climate Change? Though not fair to the Philippine Government, I still believed that Peoples’ Organizations, Non-Government Organizations, other civil society groups  had already been doing their best parts, but then please all resources are on your side which these few pro-people groups do not have to make sustainable result on a regional and national-wide scope. And in as much as these few pro-people groups/organizations would like to go beyond their capacities, too much politics and graft and corruptions that are already founded from the smallest government units to the top is like a “Berlin Wall” that keep blocking their aspirations towards achieving a sustainable environment that sustains and prolong life.

On the note above, I would like to end up by looking forward to another ” Journey to the Mountains” and witnessing robust forests and happy mountains instead.#

News from Nepal

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2009 at 7:24 am

by Kirant Kamal Sampang

Recently, I have completed a case study with discussing, field survey,