Pangantucan, Bukidnon — Last April 29, 2022, the Indigenous Peoples Organization-led Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) initiative planted 1,050 endemic seedlings in Sitio San Guinto, Barangay Bacusanon, Pangantucan, Bukidnon.
The Nagkahiusang Manobong Manununod sa Yutang Kabilin, (NAMAMAYUK), Inc. entitled the event, “Upakat të këd uyamu wëy këd lëgimu të Inëngën/Sinukudan/Dunya” (Unity for Nurturing Our Mother Earth). The event was organized to commemorate Earth Day by undertaking a tree-planting activity within Mt. Kalatungan’s protected area.
The Indigenous Peoples of NAMAMAYUK aims to raise public awareness on the importance of protecting the environment through implementing the Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES). This event serves as the kick-start for the series of planting activities.
This PES initiative was led by the NAMAMAYUK Youth with Hazel Mae Guinto as their PES Core Team Leader, together with their Bantay sa Yutang Kabilin (BYK) volunteers or their Ancestral Domain Rangers. This initiative was supported by the Xavier Science Foundation, Inc., and One Meralco Foundation, Inc.
The Tabunan Creek behind the Sitio San Guinto Elementary School was the first planting site. It was the chosen site, as it was believed to be the nesting sites of the now extinct woodcock bird named, Mëngawag. Mëngawag is important for the NAMAMAYUK tribe.
The site was also an aquifer and is the headwater of the Kaayatan River. The site is not only significant culturally but also for the environment.
The Xavier Science Foundation, Inc., and the Pangantucan Barangay Local Government Unit have supported and attended the event. One Meralco Foundation, Inc. have sent a video message to the community in support of their advocacy to reduce the effects of climate change. The IPO women, elders, and the youth also gave their inspiring messages to the community
The Bantay sa Yutang Kabilin (BYK) volunteers have been actively roving and protecting, not only the forest, but also their ancestral domain. They are the frontliners or the Bagani of the community. They have been able to apprehend violators in their area and have reported it to authorities.
Since, they are mainly volunteers; they expressed their need for support, especially the monitoring equipment and financial support.
The ECOSEED-2 project, in partnership with Forest Foundation Philippines, provided new set of PPEs, first aid kit, and rice to the Bantay sa Yutang Kabilin (BYK) volunteers for their roving activities in their ancestral domain.
The BYK volunteers are still open for additional support.