In pursuit of inclusive development in the provinces, BPI Foundation, in partnership with Hineleban Foundation, has committed to rehabilitating 100 hectares of denuded watershed in the Bangsamoro region of Amai Manabilang, Lanao del Sur, and provide livelihood to 20 families in Barangay Pagunayan.
Maricris San Diego, BPI Foundation Executive Director, said this is part of the Foundation’s Mindanao Rainforestation and Transformational Business project.
“We see this partnership will significantly help restore the ecosystem and consequently bring more rain to increase agricultural production. This initiative will provide food security in the area and sustainable, disposable income for 20 families in the identified project site,” said Ms. San Diego.
The project will bring back the flora and fauna in the mountain range in Amai Manabilang, which is inhabited by settlers of different origins, such as Ilonggo, Ivatan, Ilocano, Bisaya, Moto Maranaws, and other smaller ethnic groups.
The main source of livelihood in the area is farming, mainly crop production. The municipality is one of the largest corn producers in the province. The major crops planted in the area include sugarcane, corn, soba, and buckwheat.
With this partnership, the Foundation seeks to engage the local communities to become custodians of the site by providing them sustainable livelihood opportunities and becoming their partners in ensuring the conservation of the reforested area.
Major components of the project include social preparation, Family Food Security Cycle (FFSC), Sustainable Disposable Income Component (SDIC), Rainforestation, Values and Leadership Transformation Program, and Community Development Planning.
The project began with social preparation and engagement with the local leaders, as well as an orientation and assessment of the community members. A Family Food Security Cycle or 3,500 square meters of shared farming land for the community’s consumption was also established. Technical support and marketing efforts for the products of Hineleban Foundation were also strengthened.
This year’s rainforestation will follow a natural succession process that will eventually lead to the planting of indigenous dipterocarp, oak, and select commercial species. Throughout the project’s implementation, meeting the needs of the community as well as instilling stewardship of the different project components remain essential.