Bukidnon tribal leader goes to Bangkok for biodiversity meet

MALAYBALAY CITY – (MindaNews 22 August) Bukidnon Daraghuyan tribe’s
spiritual leader Bae Inatlawan Adelina Tarino of Dalwangan, Malaybalay
City said via Skype that any one from the indigenous peoples can stop
parties who are collecting resources, visible or invisible, from their
ancestral domain.

Tarino, who is in Bangkok attending a South East Asian-wide training
here on biodiversity representing the indigenous peoples from the
Philippines, said even if outsiders see the tribe as lacking cultural
integrity or traditional knowledge – they can assert their right.

The tribal leader, asked on the second of the four day training, said
the basis of their right to stop is that they are IPs and are owners
of the ancestral domain.
Tarino is one of seven participants from the Philippines out of close
to 70 participants from around ASEAN.   The other participants from
the Philippines came from the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources, University of the Philippines, and non-government
organizations.
She was endorsed by DENR and PAWB (Protected Area Management Bureau)
as delegate for Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park.

Canoy said the tribes here are known for their gate keeping policies
such as “no FPIC, no entry.”

“Most researchers asked permission from the PAMB (Protected Area
Management Board) and the tribal councils before given consent to do
research,” she added.
The event, dubbed Southeast Asia Training-Workshop on Building
Institutional and Stakeholders Capacities on Access to Genetic
Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from
their Utilization (ABS) is being held from August 20 to 23 in The
Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand.

The training is a capacity building initiative for an ASEAN
(Association of South East Asian Nations)-wide harmonized national
processes to implement the Convention of Biodiversity (CBD)
Provisions.

Ma. Easterluna Canoy, executive director of the Kitanglad Integrated
NGOs, who accompanied Tarino in the training as interpreter said they
largely tackled the Nagoya Protocol of the CBD, which the Philippines
still has to ratify.
“This protocol if made into national legislation will strengthen our
anti biopiracy program, appreciating the role of traditional knowledge
of most resources, which often are subject to piracy,” she added.

Organizers cited that they intended to educate selected participating
countries’ stakeholders in ABS and traditional knowledge and
disseminate manuals and toolkits on ABS for review and use by the
participants. Also they sought to analyze stakeholders, legislative
and institutional capacities in developing and implementing national
ABS frameworks among others.
She cited that biopiracy is especially true in the search for cure or
rare ailments. She also said that it has to be ensured that the
benefits will be shared by the resource owners, researchers, and
investors, among others.
In attendance in the training include representatives from Myanmar,
Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Singapore, Laos, and Timor
Leste.
The event was organized by the Government of Thailand through the
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment – Office of Natural
Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, the ASEAN Centre for
Biodiversity (ACB), the United Nations University – Institute of
Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), GIZ and the ASEAN Secretariat.(Walter I.
Balane/Bukidnon News)