With the aim of enhancing participation of communities in watershed protection, the NPC San Roque Watershed Area Team (SRWAT), in partnership with Benguet State University Institute of Social Research and Development (ISRD), is conducting a study titled Indigenous knowledge systems in Changing Landscape: The case of IPs in Itogon Watershed (Phase 1) from April, 2017 January, 2018.
The said study will be conducted with the communities of Daynet, Ampucao, Pangbasan, Dalupirip both in Benguet, and San Felipe East, San Nicolas, Pangasinan which are all in the Lower Agno Watershed Forest Reserve (LAWFR).
As the government agency given complete jurisdiction to manage and protect the LAWFR, also known as the San Roque Watershed Area, NPC also has the inherent right and responsibility to conduct due diligence on the biophysical and social components of the watershed area, remarked Mendel S. Garcia, Section Chief of NPC-SRWAT.
The said study will focus on documenting emerging and reconfigurations of indigenous knowledge systems and understand community dynamics in relation to resource management vis a vis other socio economic and political forces at play. Further, the said study will determine the roles of men and women in community governance and resource management.
Ruth S. Batani, BSU-ISRD Director and project leader, said that documentation of IKSP is crucial as building blocks for the watershed resource management, while at the same time addressing livelihood needs, in a sustainable manner.
Meanwhile, the NPC SRWAT is seeking consent and support from concerned communities. The IPs will not only act as informants but as research partners too.
During the study presentation and consent seeking on April 27 at Bua, Tuding, Itogon, officers and members of the Sebbang Ni Pagsegshan, Inc., an Indigenous People's Organization of project affected by San Roque Multi-purpose Dam in Itogon, have expressed their support to the study.
After phase 1, extension and evaluation part will consist of the Phase 2 and Phase 3, respectively.
Gina A. Pili, member of Sebbang Inc, on another occasion, has given secondary data on IKSP to SRWAT as form of support to the upcoming conduct of IKSP study.