Be Informed: Threats to Ancestral Domain

by Quatro Aroma

"IP leaders question negotiations for Kaliwa dam despite questions on consent"

Gaea Katreena Cabico ( |  May 24, 2021
MANILA, Philippines — Indigenous peoples' communities opposing the Kaliwa Dam project are questioning a move by two government agencies to conduct a negotiation of the draft memorandum of agreement for the controversial water reservoir that will affect communities in Quezon and Rizal.

Over a hundred Dumagats, including minors and senior citizens, reportedly attended the three-day event in General Nakar in Quezon province on May 17 to 19 to validate and ratify the agreement. 
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"Driven from home, Philippine indigenous people long for their land"

Rina Chandran (Thomson Reuters Foundation) |  April 19, 2018
MADAUM, Philippines (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As Philippine military battalions closed in, shutting down schools, rounding up men and harassing women, Tungig Mansumuy had to make a tough decision: stay and protect their homes, or flee to save their lives and risk losing their land.

After discussions with other tribesmen, Mansumuy, the chief of a Lumad tribe in Mindanao island, decided they had to leave and seek shelter until martial law was lifted and it was safe to return to their homes in Talaingod village.

A few men stayed behind to guard their homes, while the rest fled by foot in February, carrying few belongings as they made the two-day trek down the mountain, Mansumuy said. Read more

"Understanding the indigenous people’s rights to their ancestral domain"

Sara Mae D. Mawis (Philippine Daily Inquirer) |  April 4, 2020

Under the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA), self-delineation shall be the guiding principle in identifying and delineating ancestral domains. As such, indigenous cultural communities (ICC) and indigenous people (IP) shall have a decisive role in all activities pertinent thereto.

The Sworn Statement of the Elders as to the scope of the territories and the agreements or pacts made with neighboring ICCs/IPs, if any, will be essential in determining these traditional territories. Meanwhile, the government shall take the necessary steps to identify lands which the ICCs/IPs concerned traditionally occupy and guarantee effective protection of their rights of ownership and possession thereto.

Thus, ancestral lands or domains, which may be owned by ICCs/IPs, shall refer to its total environment—that is, its physical environment, including the spiritual and cultural bonds to the areas which they possess, occupy, and use, and to which they have claims of ownership. Read more


"Indigenous peoples in the Philippines leading conservation efforts"

UNDP Ecosystems & Biodiversity (Exposure) |  August 9, 2019
In the Philippines, conserving unique biodiversity relies on the knowledge, innovations, and practices of indigenous and local communities who live in direct contact with nature.

An estimated 85% of the country’s key biodiversity areas are within ancestral domains.

In 2017, Philippine Association for Inter-Cultural Development, Inc. (PAFID) came up with this figure by comparing the data from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) on approved Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADTs) and existing claims from Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities with the remaining forest cover data of the Forest Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (FMB-DENR).

This figure suggests that governance by IP communities is instrumental in protecting and conserving the remaining natural forests of the Philippines.

These areas are Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Conserved Areas and Territories (ICCAs). ICCAs may be sacred spaces or ritual grounds (such as sacred forests and mountains, indigenous territories, and cultural landscapes or seascapes). Read more