Foreign groups help PHILIPPINES to rehab forests
DAVAO CITY — Foreign groups have joined the Presidents call to a greener country by launching a P150-million permaculture project to rehabilitate Sarangani’s remaining pristine rain forest.
This, after BHIC received a letter from Datu Edmund D. Pangilan, provincial chieftain of the 74,000 hectare ancestral lands of the Blaan and Tagakaulo tribes requesting them to establish a project in his area to employ thousands of Lumads that live on the poverty line.
Jonathon Bentley Stevens, founder and president of Bentley House International Corp. (BHIC), said their project in Malungon Sarangani would reintroduce dozens of species of native bamboo, rattan and some varieties of fruit-bearing trees where At least 10,000 local residents in several villages in the municipality is said to benefit from the project.
“This is not another empty pledge. We have already received funds from WeForest and the Jimi Hendrix Foundation,” said Stevens, who was baptized Datu Matatao ug Mabuligon (Chief who brings knowledge and assistance) into the Manabo Tribe in 1996.
Malungon was once one of the richest forests in the world. But today, logging and illegal deforestation has paved way for its natural resources to become very vulnerable to degradation.
The project involves initially planting five million endemic/indigenous trees within three thousand hectares identified in Malungon.
One of the objectives of this project is to work with the B’laan and Tagakaulo tribes to help them replant their native lands, said Stevens.
Permaculture, the rehabilitation approach that would be employed in the project, is geared to encourage the return of birds, animals and insects — providing the ecosystems services which set the stage for the natural regeneration of truly diverse and healthy forest.
“Creating and supporting opportunities for local people to recreate a balanced environment that support them in a myriad of ways is the objective of WeForest globally so it is an honor to become part of this wonderful project in Sarangani,” said Christian Shearer, CEO of Terra Genesis International.
Jonathon Bentley Stevens
Bentley House International Corp