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FEATURE STORY

UNDERSTANDING NATURE

through community immersion

BY: JANICE B. AGRIFINO

 

C

ommunity immersion is a fundamental aspect that  every development worker should be involved witnot just the experience he/she can get but more of  the additional knowledge awaiting. This has given me the  opportunity to witness the beauty of nature away from crowded and busy streets of the city.

 

understanding nature 

In the CHARM2 Project, I get to understand the complexity of things - workloads - and how the simplicity of nature becomes one’s soothing abode. The Project itself has recognized how the region’s natural wonders are considered gems by the community. The forest and all natural resources in our mountains are extension of every Cordilleran’s life, sacred and needful of protection and  sustained at that. And that is  where the second component of CHARM2 Project comes in.

 

The Community Watershed Communal Forest and Agroforestry (CWCFMA) component of the Project focuses on the promotion of micro-watersheds rehabilitation in the target areas to enhance conservation of major watersheds in the Cordillera region and providing the indigenous communities with opportunities to improve their socio-economic  well-being. To address these, subprojects particularly Agroforestry and Reforestations have been pushed through with span of one year cycle.

 

Immediate results of the subprojects are already observed since their first implementation in 2011. During the pilot Barangay Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Team (BPMET) Outcome Monitoring Workshop  in Kapangan, Benguet, increase  in the volume of water, greener mountains and additional source of income turned out to be among the primary outcomes of the Reforestation and Agroforestry subprojects.

 

REFORESTATION: TOWARDS GREENER PASTURE

There is an observable increase in the volume of water supplying  the CHARM2 Project-covered stage, some already have bear fruit and were harvested that gave way to an additional income among the farmer-beneficiaries. In barangay Beling-belis, two farmer-beneficiaries have already harvested half sack of coffee beans each. These, accordingly, cost at least 50 pesos per ¼ kilo if unprocessed.

 

Furthermore, members of the community who are non-beneficiaries were encouraged to visit their agroforestry sites and learn how to plant trees particularly coffee.  

 

understanding nature“Most of the coffee growers in our community who are non-agroforestry members were encouraged to plant more and try other varieties like robusta that further promoted the concept of agroforestry in the community,” said Mr. Felix Damgasen, PO president.

 

 

Another immediate impact of the subproject is the recognition of ownership over a parcel of land as ancestral aside for  the identification of individual  boundaries. Accordingly, the people in their community plant trees or agricultural crops in their parcels of land that are not yet declared as government-owned.

 

If there are to be problems on tax declarations, the community can easily prove that they have been living and maintaining the area for a long time, thus, worth the title of ownership.

 

All in all, there are 42.44 hectares of Agroforestry sites in Kapangan. These subprojects not only brought  realization in the importance of nature particularly forests and watersheds but also renewed their sense of responsibility as owners of the land in the protection and sustainability of the remaining natural resources.  

 

In their quest towards greener pasture, the reforestation and agroforestry people’s organization members have realized the interconnectivity of their every action and their environment, thus committed to protect and preserve  what is left. //


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