Tribal Community Deer Sanctuaries in Kimangkil Mountains
Gliceto O. Dagondon
Higaonon tribal community in Impadiding and Kalahaan in barrio Minalwang, province of Misamis Oriental, Mindanao Philippines had most novel undertaking in their history. In 2000, late Datu Mansipadano aka Julio Pinalandang was worried of diminishing Philippine brown deer (Cervus mariannus). About the same period, they secured recognition of their ancestral domain and on the process of seeking ancestral land rights title to over 20 thousand hectares of forest. The seek assistance from concern government and non-government agencies such as GREEN Mindanao Association Inc. (GMAI). An opportunity in 2004 through European-Union-United Nations Development Program-Promoting Tropical Forestry (EU-UNDP-PTF) which funded Minalwang Higaonon Tribal Council (MIHITRICO) project including establishment of deer sanctuary. This was successfully undertaken in Impadiding and Kalahaan; and expanded into the villages of Mintapod in Bukidnon province and Lakbangan in Agusan province. Between 10 to15 thousand hectares were designated deer sanctuaries chosen by tribal elders, hunters, trappers, barrio officials and Higaonon community. Local tribal resolution with supporting barrio ordinance promulgating simple rules, regulations & penalty agreements enforced by tribal guards, elders and barrio officials. An evaluation resulted to success of deer sanctuary, increase wild pigs trapped outside and demand for more sanctuaries was expressed by neigh boring tribal communities in adjacent provinces.
Demand for deer sanctuaries spread throughout Northeastern Mindanao tribal communities of Higaonon, Bukidnon, Mamanwa and Manobo. The mountains of Kitanglad, Kalatungan and Pantaron expressed recent interest of establishing deer sanctuaries with the assistance of Kitanglad Integrated NGO's and supported by ecosystem alliance-IUCN.
Keywords: Sanctuary, conservation & tribal community