Project Lasang Hagabat, Philippines
Lasang = forest; Hagabat = of the south
(Cebauno, one of the local languages of Negros)
Project Lasang’s approach is to work with the community to identify and implement behavioural changes such that there is a shift from subsistence, unsustainable practices such as slash and burn agriculture to alternative, improved ways of living that provide long term benefits for local people. A crucial component of the project is to build capacity of local people so that they can gain the skills they need in order to develop e.g. by learning more about trading and enterprise schemes.
The project has identified a model for the conservation of old-growth, bio-diverse forest to benefit disadvantaged (poor) people on Negros living in and around the Cuernos de Negros forest landscape. Participatory ‘action research’ is used to elicit local knowledge and engage local communities in order to develop ‘win-win activities’ that deliver benefits to local people and wildlife. Examples include creating value chains for the Manila hemp industry.
A key element of the project is to put in place ‘reciprocal environmental agreements’ to ensure that villagers and the project team clearly understand their respective roles and commit to working together for the benefit of people and wildlife.