Land-use options to encourage forest conservation on a tribal reservation in the Philippines
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The Negrito (Ati) tribe of Nagpana, Iloilo, Philippines has traditionally been dependent on shifting cultivation and on hunting and gathering of non-timber forest products for its livelihood. In recent decades the Ati have derived increasing income from wage labor for adjacent landowners and from permanent rice cultivation. The consequent clearing of residual forests has resulted in extensive soil degradation, reduced crop yields, and loss of both commercial and subsistence non-timber forest products.
Various agroforestry systems which incorporate permanent tree crops into traditional systems have great potential to reverse these losses. This study analyzes the economic sustainability of four different land-use options for the Ati. The net present value (NPV) of a system which incorporates both sustainable use of the existing forest and plantations of fast-growing tree species on agricultural lands is superior to all other alternatives. Social and environmental benefits from this system further justify implementation. Any recommendations to develop such an option must take into account the constraining factors typical of such upland communities.
Key wordsnontimber forest products use economic analysis multipurpose tree plantations Philippine tribes understory cultivation
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