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UNDP launches conservation of indigenous communities in Bataan

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By Jonas Reyes

Morong, Bataan — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), along with the local government unit of Morong and the Philippine Association for Intercultural Development (PAFID), recently launched the Indigenous Communities Conservation Area here on Saturday.

LOVE FOR TRIBES — Aeta elders of the Magbukun Tribe get a hug from Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairperson Wilma Eisma (middle) during the Launching of the Indigenous Communities Conservation Area in Morong, Bataan last weekend. The SBMA has pledged to provide support to the Aeta community of the Magbukun Tribe in keeping the land in Morong a conservation site. (Jonas Reyes)

LOVE FOR TRIBES — Aeta elders of the Magbukun Tribe get a hug from Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairperson Wilma Eisma (middle) during the Launching of the Indigenous Communities Conservation Area in Morong, Bataan last weekend. The SBMA has pledged to provide support to the Aeta community of the Magbukun Tribe in keeping the land in Morong a conservation site. (Jonas Reyes)

With the theme “Strengthening the National Systems to Improve Governance and Management of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Conserved Areas and Territories,” the site rich in biodiversity will be protected by the Aeta community of the Magbukun Tribe.

The program will put those living near the conservation area as the protectors, while the local government unit taking the lead in implementing conservation and protection activities. It also aims to strengthen the documentation of these ICCAs.

Meanwhile, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairperson Wilma Eisma pledged the agency’s support to help the Magbukun Tribe, especially in their endeavor to protect the ICCA in Morong. Eisma said that the area is still a part of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and has been a key area in the development of the Freeport.

According to the UNDP, these ICCAs can be classified as sacred areas or ritual grounds for the indigenous communities residing near it. Included in these areas are forests, mountains, shorelines, wetlands, fishing areas, and other bodies of water.

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