Contributions of Traditional and Indigenous Practices to Ecological Restoration of Way Besai Landscape, Indonesia and Tanay Landscape, Philippines
Leila D. Landicho Mary Anne G. Abadillos Rowena Esperanza Dicolen-Cabahug Maria Theresa Nemesis P. Ocampo

Source: SEAMEO BIOTROP's Research Grant | 2019


Ecological restoration is the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed as a result of direct or indirect human activities or in some cases caused by natural disturbances (SERI, 2004).  Local and indigenous communities are always seen as an important component of forest rehabilitation and ecological restoration initiatives.  In their article, Egan et al (undated) argued that human matters in ecological restoration because of the premise that humans are responsible for degrading the natural environment, and therefore, they are also responsible for repairing it.   They also recognized the important role of the indigenous people in ecological restoration, because of their strong interest in ecological restoration, particularly the areas that they inhabit, which provides the means of increasing their resource base and rejuvenating their cultures.  Vogt et al. (2002) in Sirima (2015) also added that the close linkage between nature and culture, and the long-term interaction with the local environment, provide most of the indigenous communities with holistic understanding of ecological processes of the environment, hence, their ability to manage them. 


Based on the above research results, it is concluded that the ecological conditions within the study sites in Philippines particularly in Atok, Benguet are gradually being degraded considering the visible soil erosion, scarce water source during the dry season, and low biodiversity index. Recognizing this condition, the indigenous people have been employing local practices towards ecological restoration.  These practices could have contributed to the even distribution of species within the farmlots of the Ibaloi farmers. In Indonesia site, it had also happened around 10-15 years ago and recently community has restoration efforts through community forest scheme particularly in West Lampung.  Recently, 3 research locations namely Tribudi Syukur, Sukapura and Sindang Pagar on satisfied natural resources condition due to the community have high commitment towards to sustainability of their forest through their forest rules obedience such as no cut the trees, planting the trees and biodiversity preservation i.e. wild bird, mushroom.


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