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Managing the Mountain and the Monkeys: Philippine Millenarian Movement and the Local Dynamics of Community-based Wildlife Management in Mt. Apo Natural Park (Mindanao, Philippines)

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Paluga, Myfel Joseph D.
Conference: Survival of the Commons: Mounting Challenges and New Realities, the Eleventh Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Conf. Date: June 19-23, 2006
Date: 2006
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1172
Sector: Social Organization
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
CBRM--case studies
parks--case studies
Abstract: "The paper presents a case study of the role of mountain- dwelling millenarian settlers (Moncadistas) of Mt. Apo Natural Park [MANP] (Mindanao, Philippines) in wildlife conservation-especially the Philippine macaques (Macaca fascicularis philippinensis)-and in the management of the area of the natural park in general. "The present village of New Israel (Makilala, North Cotabato: western region of the MANP) is a Moncadista community that has developed unique responses and adaptations to the socio-ecological context of Mt. Apo. As an iconic example, since the middle of the last century (1950s), the village has evolved a case of human-macaque co-dwelling where wild/tamed troops of monkeys are actively taken-cared of, provisioned and given a wider degree of tolerance in roaming the village spaces. Internal and external challenges both constrain and sustain such practices and invite comparison and contrast with the practices of other mountain-dwelling groups and indigenous peoples vis-��� -vis the wildlife of their area. Foremost of such challenge is the tension between maintaining their religious and culturally-based conservationist visions for the place (like provisioning the monkeys) and the possibility of breeding monkeys as agricultural pests for contiguous areas of the protected area. The paper focuses on three important dimensions in the emergence and dynamics of their local resources management: the conservationist by- products of their millenarian religious visions, their inter-ethnic relations with the indigenous groups of the place (Tagabawa Bagobo), and the ecological context offered by the natural-cultural settings of Mt. Apo. "Working within the intersecting themes of human-animal relations, local eco-spiritual visions, and the socio-ecological dynamics of managing protected area/natural parks, the paper seeks to give an ethnographic peek at a different wildlife/park management style in Mt. Apo: the potentials and challenges that it faces and the insights that it offers for other comparable areas."

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