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2nd Workshop (2006)
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2nd Annual Workshop (2006)

2nd WorkshopMore than twenty RNIP network members from Vietnam (3) , Malaysia (3), Thailand (2) , Philippines (7) and Indonesia (4) and other partners met in Cabagan, Isabela, Philippines from 10 to 14 July 2006 to share their experiences in the implementation of RNIP supported projects.
The meeting produced valuable recommendations that would help RNIP partners implement their livelihood and conservation projects more effectively.
Some of the recommendations resulting from the workshops are:

(1) need to consult technical experts in project design but also seek a second opinion eg Philipines and Indonesia
(2) involvement of local government in project implementation is critical eg. Vietnam and Philippines (3) full involvement of IPs in project planning and design eg. Malaysia
(4) IP to IP exchange visits result in positive learning
(5) always update project costing to maintain a realistic project budget.
Speakers from Malaysia and the Philippines were invited to share their views about current issues affecting the situation of Indigenous Peoples in the Southeast Asia region. Dr. Colin Nicholas, executive director of the Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC) in his talk highlighted the changing nature of the IP communities and the increasing pressure not only on the Indigenous Peoples ancestral land but also pressure on their spirituality and belief systems. Dr. Robert Araño, former project manager of the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park/ Conservation and Development Project (NSMNP-CDP) shared useful tips in programme and project implementation. He emphasized the need to involve all stakeholders in planning and implementation including local government units to avoid future headaches during project implementation. Juan R. Acay Jr., project planning and development officer of the Tuguegarao City Field Office of Conservation International-Philippines highlighted the fact that the economies, identities, spiritual and cultural values and forms of social organization of Indigenous Peoples are tied to maintaining the biodiversity and ecosystems where they live. Gilbert Hoggang, Secretary General of KASAPI, a national network of IP organizations in the Philippines related his organizations experiences in lobbying government for legislation and policies that favour IPs in the Philippines. This was exemplified by the approval of the IPRA law of 1997 which recognize the ancestral domain of IPs through the issuance of Certificates of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADT). Hoggang discussed the dilemma of many IP leaders within their network who after successfully lobbying government themselves and who later became government workers sitting in key government positions. Most if not all of them have been unable to maintain true to their origins and have become silent on specific cases affecting Indigenous Peoples. Dave de Vera, executive director of PAFID, an NGO in existence for the last 40 years which specializes in assisting IP communities in mapping their ancestral domain which is a critical process before a CADT is granted, spoke about problems and issues pertaining to the relationship of civil society organizations (CSOs) and IP organization (IPOs). He cautioned development CSOs not to treat IPs as simply beneficiaries but as real active partners. CSOs must not misrepresent IPs. CSOs must provide the right environment where IPs are comfortable enough to express their views in their own language and ways of doing things rather than being patronized by a dominant CSO.

The last part of the meeting was devoted to planning the next steps for RNIP including practicalities in regard to partner applications for support from the RNIP Trust Fund, suggestions on venue for the next intervision meeting and topics for next years RNIP training. This session was facilitated by Rolando Modina, RNIP Director, who earlier gave a summary of the key points and highlights of the whole workshop.


 

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