The provincial board has endorsed a pending House bill that seeks to strengthen the policy framework in the conservation of indigenous people’s lands.

The resolution expressed support to the proposed “Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Conserved Areas Act of 2019” authored by Rep. Loren Legarda.

Board Member Eduardo Modesto Rodriguez said they recognize the measure’s importance in strengthening the IPs and local communities conserved areas, recognizing their contribution to biodiversity conservation.

The measure also calls for the establishment of a national Indigenous Community Conserved Areas (ICCA) registry.

Rodriguez cited the case of the Coron Island indigenous domain of the Tagbanuas which will be benefited from the registry program.

“[We] recognizes the ancestral domain of the Tagbanuas in the Island of Coron in the Northeastern Palawan as a good example of ICCA. Only traditional fishing methods are allowed within its ancestral waters given the sacred nature of the place among the Tagbanuas. For these reasons, the said support for this measure is sought for the benefit of the indigenous peoples group in the province,” Rodriguez said in his resolution.