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Group to tap natives for climate change agenda

KALIBO, Aklan, June 29 – An Iloilo-based non-government organization will be tapping some indigenous people (IP) here to help mitigate climate change.

Melvin Purzuelo, principal coordinator of Green Forum-Western Visayas, said they will consult the upland residents and IP of Panay for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program.

The consultation will be held at Iloilo Grand Tower today.

"Partly, the discussion will encourage the residents and the IP, particularly the Bukidnon-Ibaloi-Madias group, as ‘social fence’ to protect their environment. These people are largely affected by habitat destruction and deforestation," Purzuelo said.

He also said the environment is considered as the IP’s “ancestral domain.”

Purzuelo said Panay Island is composed of Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Iloilo provinces, is also affected by global warming.

One of the proofs is the tropical forests in the Central Panay Mountain Ranges (CPMR), which are already prone to liquefaction (solid mass movements) with extreme rainfall, he said.

This, he said, happened during typhoon Frank where primary forests eroded, creating landslides.

Meanwhile, some sectors around Panay are doing consultations among communities to promote CPMR as a national forest park.

CPMR is home to several endangered species such as hornbill, cloud rat and deer. (PNA)


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