HomeIAMURE International Journal of Ecology and Conservationvol. 7 no. 1 (2013)

Involving the Local Communities in Developing Communal Forest Management Plans in Benguet Province, Luzon, Philippines

Teodora D. Balangcod | Severino M. Balangcod



In the Cordillera region, Luzon, Philippines, indigenous communities, such as the Ifugao and Bontoc tribes have maintained community-owned forests, called the tayan and pinugo respectively, since time immemorial. These tribes recognize that forests are the main source of their basic of needs such as food, shelter and clothing. Conversely, the local communities recognize the importance of forests in providing irrigation for their payew or rice fields. To protect their forests, there are unwritten customary laws and policies that serve as guide for the local community. In Benguet, one of the six provinces of the Cordillera Region, unfortunately, no similar community-owned forests were established by the local communities hence between the 1910 to 1940s, it is the government who declared 76 communal forests in Benguet province. However, since the declaration to date, these communal forests are not relatively protected because of the lack of implementing policies. Currently, one of the identified strategies to preserve the remaining forests in Benguet is to involve the community in the validation and re-delineation communal forests through a series of community consultation, field work and management planning. This paper demonstrates how the involvement of the local communities or stakeholders is being considered in the management of the communal forests.