By Tara Yap
Iloilo City — The indigenous peoples (IPs) in Panay Island are crucial in environmental conservation, a government environment official said.
“Our IPs are in the frontline of nature conservation because of their deep connection to their natural environments. Preserving the balance of the ecosystem has always been the indigenous way of life,” said Jim Sampulna, DENR regional director.
A forum in the IP community for Aetas (Atis) in Barotac Veijo, Iloilo, will highlight the pre-celebration of Earth Day on April 21. The forum will focus on biodiversity and climate literacy.
Aside from the Aeta, DENR has also worked with members of the Panay Bukidnon. The IPs in the mountain of Central Panay have been working with environmental officers in reforestation projects.
Meanwhile, DENR is also urging the public in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, and Iloilo provinces to leave their cars at home and ride a bike instead for Earth Day on Saturday.