On April 17-21, 2023, two of Xavier Science Foundation’s Lumad partners in Bukidnon participated in a weeklong National Rainforestation Training of Trainers for the Visayas and Mindanao at the Visayas State University, Baybay City, Leyte. Local partners from the Nagkahiusang Manobong Manununod sa Yutang Kabilin (NAMAMAYUK), Inc. of Pangantucan and the Manggayahay Tribal Association (MANTALA), Inc. of Valencia City. The two (2) IP organizations were represented by Datu Herminio “Tumanod” Guinto, and Joel Escaño, respectively.
The Rainforestation training is a field-based course designed to train people from diverse sectors who are actively involved in or have plans to develop land rehabilitation programs using Rainforestation techniques. This training is an initiative of The Forest School at the Yale School of the Environment.
In 2017, through the project Enhancement of Community Capacity for Sustainable Ecological Protection and Economic Development – Phase 2 (EcoSEED 2), the NAMAMAYUK and MANTALA have established their own rainforestation sites within their Ancestral Domain. A 25-hectare site planted with forest trees (endemic species like red and white lauan) including coffee and abaca to support the communities’ livelihood. This project was in collaboration with Forest Foundation Philippines.
Through the training, the IP communities will have gained the knowledge and skills needed to establish community nurseries and demonstration plots. The training program was interactive with series of lectures, field visits and hands-on exercises.
The participants were able to handle drone operation, as well as use mobile applications necessary to accurately record tree size and height for better farm management.
Participants have crafted their own re-entry action plans with an agreed commitment of support from the VSU-Institute of Tropical Ecology and Environmental Management (ITEEM). The training program is in partnership with the Forest Foundation Philippines, Yale School of the Environment (YSE) and VSU.