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NEWS STORY

AFAR

has gone that far

BY: PAZ A. BURGOS, PROVINCIAL SUPERVISOR-ABRA

 

AFAR objectivesAfter ten months of formal organization, the Abra Federation of Agro-forestry and Reforestation Indigenous Peoples Organizations (AFAR- IPOs) received its first financial assistance from the economic development fund (EDF) of the provincial government amounting to 1.8 million pesos. 

 

Said amount was personally handed over by Provincial  Governor Eustaquio Bersamin  at the Provincial Capitol in Bangued, Abra last September 8.The provincial government also committed to provide a yearly allocation of two million pesos (P2Million) to AFAR for the sustainability of the Federation as well as the plantations initiated by CHARM2 Project. 

 

AFAR decided to use the first release amount for the purchase of planting materials  needed by the IPOs to expand the agro-forestry plots assisted by the CHARMP2.   Rambutan, lanzones, coffee and banana seedlings were already purchased and distributed to the requesting IPOs while ginger, sugarcane and ube shall be purchased on the onset of planting season next year. With a goal to achieve self-governance & empowerment and strengthened cultural integrity, 37 IPOs strengthened by CHARM2 Project in eight municipalities of Abra organized themselves into a Federation last November 8, 2014.

 

The Project Support Office (PSO) and Provincial Coordination Office (PCO) provided the necessary technical assistance in close partnership with the retired Abra Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator Mr. Philip Tingonong, and with the Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO) of Abra Province.   

 

BEST PRACTICES & LEARNING EXPERIENCES

During the second IPO Forum conducted last November 9-11, 2015, the municipalities expressed their good practices and learning experiences in implementing the reforestation and agro-forestry projects facilitated by CHARMP2:

 

•As long as the POs strictly implement the prohibition of forest burning, the forest is able to regenerate and sustain its natural growth.   Hence, the enforcement of Lapat System is vital.

 

•Environmental governance is a concept which CHARMP2 has put into practicality through its component AFAR officerstwo implementation.   Its process of enabling the IPOs  manage their forests and agroforestry sites as well as their funds has created strong will for  these groups to sustain their  projects  as well as their organizations

 

•The indigenous practices like Pango and Innalluyon system (Bayanihan) is strengthened. Through these practices, the organizations were able to provide their counterpart to CHARMP2 without  spending any amount.

 

•LGUs  and Elders L are highly recognized by the community including the POs.   Hence their leadership in the project  implementation  boosted the POs to  actively engage with CHARMP2.

 

•Both women and men participated actively in the implementation of the activities.  Division of labor was naturally done to fast track implementation.  In nursery establishment for instance, women did the potting, cleaning and cooking   while men did the fencing, topsoil screening and hauling.

 

•Partnership building was institutionalized.  The churches in the barangay announced the activities after the holy masses or services.  Community meetings were harmonized with other agencies that are implementing other development efforts in the community.

 

•The active participation of the BPMET contributed to the successful implementation of CHARMP2 activities.   AFAR still needs a long way to go. But the legacy established through the growing trees (some are already bearing fruits), the productions gained through the agroforestry & livelihood activities and the partnerships established, AFAR IPOs can be ensured of its sustainability 'as long  as the Tingguian Tribes exist'.//

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