POLICIES AND ADAPTIVE STRATEGIES: ANALYZING THE INFLUENCE OF GOVERNMENT FOREST RESOURCE POLICIES ON THE AGTA DUMAGAT LIVELIHOOD STRATEGIES

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LOU ANGELI A. OCAMPO
M.S. Geography (May 2011)
Department of Geography


Abstract


Logging activities, through the granting of Timber License Agreement (TLA) and Integrated Forest Management Agreement (IFMA), have led to the reduction of forest stands within ancestral domains of the Agta Dumagat in Barangay Sablang, General Nakar, Quezon. Logging activities and the creation of logging roads have also contributed to the influx of migrants and, consequently, resulted to the entry of market-based, profit-oriented mode of production and technologies in the area. Such processes facilitated further the competition for forest resources and decline in forest productivity. The Agta Dumagat traditional indigenous knowledge and value system suggest reverence of the natural environment via the subsistence system. However, the new knowledge systems brought by the legal and illegal commercial loggers and other non-indigenous migrants are being incorporated to their livelihoods. This is because the Agta Dumagat traditional livelihood activities are no longer effective to meet their basic needs as the forests are being less productive due to logging and other profit-oriented forest activities. The decision to shift traditional knowledge system is further intensified as the Agta Dumagat is exposed to the more efficient and lucrative modes of production of migrant lowlanders, and new economic relations are introduced. While such move is viewed as necessary for survival, it exacerbates the degradation of the Agta Dumagat ancestral domains within the forest region of Sierra Madre.