MANILA – The President of the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Secretary Allen A. Capuyan, on Friday stressed the need “to invite Indigenous Peoples (IPs) to the table, not just put them on the menu”.
Capuyan made this point when launching the Integrated Approach to the Management of Major Biodiversity Corridors in the Philippines or the Biodiversity Project, a project to operationalize the integrated management of biodiversity corridors to generate multiple benefits.
In his speech, he highlighted the roles of NCIP and other organizations as duty bearers and urged offices and stakeholders to engage with Indigenous Peoples (IPs) for biodiversity conservation as well. than to support their rights to ancestral domains, sustainable use of resources and well-being. being.
Aspirations, perspectives of IPs
â€œIt is important for any action or project where indigenous peoples are affected and based on our national laws, in particular Republic Law 8371, known as the Law on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to ensure the participation of indigenous peoples to the entire project development process, â€Capuyan said.
He said the NCIP is redoubling its efforts to support local, national and global actions aimed at protecting, restoring and promoting the sustainable use of ecosystems, as well as halting and reversing land degradation and biodiversity loss.
He added that IPs should be involved in project identification, proposal development, implementation and post-implementation steps to realize IPs right to self-determination.
Aligned with this, Capuyan said, are their Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development Protection Plans (ADSDPP), which are the model of their vision and aspirations as indigenous peoples and communities.
Disclosure of intent, scope of projects
Capuyan also spoke of the need to ensure that the free, prior and informed consent or consensus of indigenous peoples is obtained when necessary and fully revealing the intent and scope of projects.
â€œWhile many of our governmental, non-governmental and civil society organization partners have worked with us for many decades, strengthening the governance, leadership and socio-economic systems and structures of indigenous peoples such as political structures Indigenous peoples or IPS, Indigenous peoples organizations or IPOs that have evolved from Indigenous traditional or customary laws, including Mandatory Indigenous Peoples Representatives (IPMRs) in local decision-making bodies, coupled with knowledge of the ‘history of indigenous peoples, are prerequisites for the process of developing programs or projects,’ he said.
Collective interests of IPs
Monitoring biodiversity projects in ancestral domains is another implicit task of NCIP, he said.
It helps inform and warn indigenous peoples of what science experts say while taking into account their collective best interests, because not all scientific conclusions and actions aimed at tackling biodiversity loss include them. collective best interests of indigenous peoples.
He added that these are roles to be played not only by the NCIP, but by “all of us, either as bearers of obligations, as promoters and partners in the implementation of national policies”.
â€œWe have our respective roles to play through the prism of our respective mandates and missions. However, we must join our hands to provide a progressive narrative that indigenous peoples are not helpless victims of biodiversity loss or environmental change, â€said Capuyan (RP)