Rice Culture Innovations through mobilization of traditional knowledge. A case of Traditional Knowledge and Science Connections through a MEB approach, for enhanced ecosystem governance and climate adaptation, and for strengthening indigenous communities'

Rice Culture Innovations through mobilization of traditional knowledge. A case of Traditional Knowledge and Science Connections through a MEB approach, for enhanced ecosystem governance and climate adaptation, and for strengthening indigenous communities' biocultural systems

Florence DAGUITAN (Philippines)

Tebtebba Foundation, Philippines

Assessing the status of the different ecosystems of their territory, enabled the Kalanguyas of Tinoc to re-discover the profound wisdom of their indigenous management system that illustrate an intimate man-land-nature and spirit to maintain the web of life within each and the balance of relationship of the different customary land uses upholding customary sustainable use and equitable sharing of resources. On this basis, they formulated a comprehensive land use, one of which is an innovation in the traditional rice farming system to contribute to the goal of food security and enhanced ecosystems services. Specific objectives are as follows:

• Increasing forest lands demarcated as conserved/protected areas

• Increasing population of wild bees

• Increasing agro-biodiversity

• Enhancing soil fertility

• Maintaining balance within the rice landscape for pest and disease control The innovation combined cultural practices of seed selection and pest control and soil fertility enhancement that is directly linked to the forest. Enhancement of the system involved the “capture” of microorganisms in the forest and some features of the systems rice intensification (SRI), i.e. age of seedlings and distance. The idea and capacity building for the systems development was started in 2011 but it was only in 2014 that on-farm trials was started by few individuals. What has been attended to is the restoration of degraded forests lands. From community mapping, the riceland areas of Tinoc, is about 920 hectares. Of these, about 50% are not being cultivated due to lack of irrigation, marked decrease in productivity, some are converted into commercial vegetable farms. With an average production of about 3 tons per hectare (milled rice), present production is just enough for half of the year’s supply, short of PhP 51.88M or US $ 1.15M. This innovation of looking at different concerns such as irrigation, forest restoration, seeds and farming systems intends to promote a holistic approach in addressing problems. This project resulted to forest re-growth, strengthened the culture of ubbo [ labor exchange network], dang-ah [collective work for a common good], and experimental plots were able to demonstrate 3x to 6x increase in yield per unit area. The work is in progress and is being monitored by both traditional and scientific monitoring system, including inventory of forest

 

Bio

Am a Kankanaey, Igorot . Presently am working with Tebtebba Foundation as Program Coordinator of the Program Indigenous Peoples’ and Biodiversity. As part of my work, I facilitate community work in piloting the Ecosystems-Based approach which for us is the strengthening of our knowledge systems and practices in indigenous territory management. It entails community ecosystems assessment awareness raising and capacity building towards development planning  and  implementation . Moreover I represent my organization in the steering committee of a network of NGO’s in the Philippines promoting IP Rights and Food Sovereignty, in the steering committee of the International Partnership of the Satoyama Initiative and a member of International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity. From 1985, I worked with the indigenous grassroots organizations in the Cordillera Region in various capacities. First as an agriculturist promoting sustainable agriculture and Forestry through development of traditional knowledge.  Second, as a Research Facilitator in the communities and among professionals wherein research is done as an educational process and not just an extraction of knowledge. Part of this experience was translating some traditional knowledge in Forestry and Agriculture into their scientific language. Third as a Executive Director of a program espousing integrated community development .  In 1998-2001, when the Cordillera Region was threatened by entry of mining, I was part of a coordinating body of different civil society and peoples organization to create awareness to prevent the plunder of our forests and resources.

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