'Cultural Integrity': Promoting Cultural Survival and Decentralizing Good Forest Governance in Ancestral Domains: The Agta-Dumagat People: Province of Aurora, Philippines

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"For Indigenous Peoples, good forest governance is linked not only to livability and sustainability, but to cultural survival. Globalization has continued what colonization began a disruption of the ties of Indigenous Peoples to their lands and thus concomitantly to their livelihoods, faith tradition, and cultural contexts. In the Philippines there have been reforms in the law recognizing the rights of Indigenous Peoples to their ancestral domains. The efforts of the Agta-Dumagat people, together with other stakeholders in Aurora Province, show that short-term proposals privileging capital gain need not be the dominant paradigm in forestry management, and further that 'conservation' need not be preservation of resources without people. The Agta-Dumaga People have used a Cultural Integrity framework to continue to reassert their customary control as managers of the forest while enhancing their cultural cohesion and viability. This paper will discuss the case of the Agta-Dumagat as an example of how the complex interstices of capital interests, local and national governments, and local community interests can be successfully negotiated for an end result of respect for Indigenous Peoples customary rights and good forest governance."



IASC, forest management, culture, indigenous institutions, Aeta (Philippine people), customary law