Bendum Youth Regenerate Forest (2009)

Youth collecting lawaan seeds

Youth collecting lawaan seeds

A Pulangiyen youth group called Kabatan-on Lumadnong Pulangiyen (KLP) is regenerating 12 hectares of previously cleared forest areas in Bendum, an upland village in Northern Mindanao, by gathering lauan seeds from mother trees in the puwalas (maturing forest) and transplanting local tree species. This assistance in the natural regeneration of forests is expected to maintain and enhance the remaining natural biodiversity of the regenerating forests.

These youth are forming a life pattern under new circumstances and the first effort is to go back and reclaim the past knowledge of utilizing forests during both the seasonality of activity and over a longer cycle of shifting land use.

The forest area has declined and is retreating to the higher slopes. The youth now seek to draw the forest back down by regenerating 12 hectares that started with the previously barren log deck and areas cleared for unsustainable agriculture.

Clearing up the degraded forest.

Clearing up the degraded forest

The KLP wants to establish the youth’s role in the community, their identity and inheritance through the gaup (ancestral domain). They identify themselves by their rivers and is restoring their remaining forest to strengthen cultural integrity while seeking greater equity in a globalizing culture through recognition of their tradition. The KLP also seeks dialogue to strengthen and unite the cultures of Upper Pulangi and maintain peace in the whole area.

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