4. Comprehensive Site Development Strategies
a. IPO-LGU Partnership
Consistent with agreements made during the consultative meetings conducted at the outset and emphasized under the Basic Concepts of this ADSDPP preparation, an IPO-LGU partnership shall be encouraged and strengthened. This is deemed necessary if the concept of integration were to be realized.
The relative weakness of the enforcement of customary practices as predisposed by the passive stance of IP communities resulting from long years of deprivation from the free exercise thereof, suggests the assistance of LGUs in co-operation with the IP community for a re-structuring and adoption of institutional measures to recollect if not produce its own environment and natural resources management system.
b. Networking and Linkaging with Other Partners in Development
As tested in several participatory models and adopted in this ADSDPP, the functional areas in which specific institutions very well perform and have been most effective are: GO technical agencies for technology development, promotion and capacitation/training; NGOs for community organizing, credit transfers, capital build-up and training of POs in managing income-generating projects; and POs for development and management of cooperative business enterprises.
The concept of “farmer trainors” found effective in technology transfer to other farmers as practiced in the Upland Development Program (UDP) under the auspices of the FORD Foundation and DENR will be worthwhile to emulate in this ADSDPP. This becomes particularly responsive to the reality that the IP community has IKSP of its own some of which have only to be refined if not modified as the IP community would deem appropriate based on the results of their technology verification. The farmer-trainors skilled with their IKSP could thus effectively transfer the technologies very well adaptable to their cultures, without emphasizing too that their force can augment considerably the existing government extension force because of their number and permanent presence in the area.
c. Project Areas and Beneficiaries
The identification of projects, project sites and communities as made by the ADSDPP-TWG is only the first step towards operationalizing the ADSPP. A more critical step would be the prioritization of household categories in these communities to determine who should be the frontline participants in the project components. With the ADSDPP goals and objectives in view, those who are most dependent on land and the forest/watershed resources for their basic needs would be given priority without prejudice to the highly marginalized basic sectors of society. Corollarily, the households whose aggregate incomes fall within the poverty threshold should also be given priority. These pre-considerations should be done taking into consideration the structures already in place in the communities (e.g., putting up a cooperative where one already exists within reasonable distances, etc.).
With regards to the lands to be developed, it is also assumed that a proper balance between productive use and conservation/protection should be achieved, following the proposed land allocation strategy.
d. Land Allocation for Agro-Environmental Projects
The Bokod ancestral domain is basically a watershed community and a “critical watershed” at that which is a catchment basin that supplies the Ambuklao and Binga Hydroelectric Power Plants within proximate vicinities, and San Roque Hydroelectric Power Plant downstream in San Manuel, Pangasinan. The prevailing heterogeneity among agro-ecological zones thereon has catalyzed the ADSDPP-TWG to delineate a “landscape range” of agriculture and forest ecological zones (AFEZ) as follows:
AFEZ 1 = High Mountain Zone (> 2,000 m asl)
AFEZ 2 = Mid-Mountain Zone (1,500-2,000 m asl)
AFEZ 3 = Low-Mountain Zone (1,000-1,500 m asl)
AFEZ 4 = High Hills Zone (500-1,000 m asl)
Slope gradients covered under each AFEZ include:
Upper Slope = > 50 % slope gradient
Mid-Slope = 25-50 % slope gradient
Bottom Slope = 8-25 % slope gradient
Plateau/Flatland = < 8 % slope gradient
Upon these bases, all areas under AFEZ 1 shall be protection forests that will be preserved for biological diversity, and human activity is strictly prohibited thereon. AFEZ 2 shall also be a protection forest however, gathering of forest products and hunting may be allowed thereon. Some communal forests may also be located in this eco-zone particularly, those that were maintained as such prior to the ADSDPP preparation. AFEZ 3 is the location of production forests (communal forests, plantation forest and agroforestry) while some built-up areas would also exist thereon. AFEZ 4 is preoccupied by built-up areas (settlements, croplands and other land uses).
The land use allocation and development matrix (Figure 6) based on the interactive relationships between the land slopes (which separate the forest lands from the alienable and disposable lands) and the present vegetation/land uses (which illustrates the general ecological framework of the watershed) is shown in Table 65. The table illustrates that two major modules were identified, namely, the Agroforestry modules (on-farm) and the Community-based modules (off-farm).
The farm development modules are formulated separately for the non-agricultural (lands with slopes greater than 25 percent) and agricultural (lands below 25 percent slopes). These provide for the effective integration of the crop-livestock-forestry land use mixes and which would rationalize the viable site allocation schemes for uplands in the ancestral domain.
The off-farm development modules are primarily undertaken by the community as a group as contrasted to the on-farm projects which are mainly implemented by individual farmers. The off-farm development modules are primarily implemented to protect the remaining forests and to enhance the ecology of the remaining watershed. On the other hand, the on-farm development modules are the central strategy to improve the economic situation of the upland settlers in order to minimize, if not totally control the further encroachment of the forest ecosystems. The off-farm project sites, in general, are abandoned and marginalized lands that require rehabilitation and development by the community because of its expensive and supra-zonal effects over the environments of the watershed. On the other hand, the on-farm projects are land areas which are settled or inhabited and are being used by the indigenous community for their food needs primarily and for cash augmentation in some situations.