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Management challenges of indigenous fishers in the Philippines and their adaptation to climate change Public Deposited

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  • Climate change has aggravated the marginalized condition of indigenous fishers in the Philippines. It is worth noting, however that the relationship of many indigenous peoples to their natural environment such as the land, the sea, plants and animals incorporates them as part of the same environment. The cultural and religious belief systems of indigenous peoples influence their interaction with the natural environment to shape their environmental adaptation. There are cases of seasonal immigration of fishers like the “Tumondoks” who visit other islands where the fishing grounds are rich. They coexist harmoniously with the “Pangayaws”, another indigenous group, without any issue on territorial rights. The “Maguindanaons” chant prayers while on their way to fish and sightings of floating dead snails or shells in the waters is a sign that should not proceed to fish. Climate change has however, proven that their traditional fishing methods and practices are not enough. The “Badjaos” have a unique coastal based resource management of their own. Through a UNDP study tour, they realized that artificial reefs and marine protected areas have been successful with other indigenous peoples like the “Tinigbas”. Success stories like these when imparted to their fellow indigenous fishers are easier to adapt. Likewise the same was done in the case of “Badjao” seaweed farmers in Tawi-tawi who provided best case practices to the seaweed growers in Surigao. The strategy framework to climate change for local resilience is proposed and recommended to all institutions and indigenous communities concerned for environmental adaptation to climate change.
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  • Seattle, Washington, USA
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