Wednesday 20 january 2021
The Philippine government plans to build a dam in the forests of the Sierra Madre to meet the increasing water demand in Manila. However, the planned location of the Kaliwa dam is the territory of the indigenous Dumagats, threatening the area’s biodiversity as well as their sources of income, water supply and sacred sites. Local leader Clara Dullas therefore calls on other Dumagats to speak out against and the dam and for their rights, such as the right to free prior and informed consent (FPIC).
The Sierra Madre mountain range is one of the last major forest areas in the Philippines with a high biodiversity. Several indigenous groups, such as the Dumagats, live in the area. Partner organisation NTFP-EP Philippines supports this group in the area, for example in the planting of almaciga (Agathis philippinensis) trees and the sustainable harvest of almaciga resin.
However, the area is also close to the metropolis of Manila, which is struggling with water shortages. The Philippine government therefore wants to build the Kaliwa dam to continue to provide the inhabitants with water in the coming years.
Indigenous communities stand up for their rights
Our partner organisation NTFP-EP supports indigenous communities to make them aware and stand up for their rights. In this video, produced by our partner NTFP-EP, local leader Clara Dullas wants to convince other Dumagats to stand up for their rights and reject the construction of the dam, and calls on the government and the urban population to instead support the conservation and restoration of the Sierra Madre.