Kusor, Palawan, Philippines, June 18, 2019.
By Jessie Cereno, Talakatha Creatives.
In Kusor, southern Palawan, Philippines, an indigenous tribal woman tends to her farmers’ group purple yam (ube) plot. Through diversified and sustainable farming of high-value crops, upland communities have less reason to expand their slash-and-burn further into forests or hunt for wildlife just to make a profit. The USAID Protect Wildlife Project is focusing on activities that promote more sustainable farming practices, particularly for upland indigenous peoples' communities that are farming in or around forests and protected areas. Aside from improving the farming of usual crops, Protect Wildlife is also leading these farmers to plant high-value crops, such as cassava and the tuberous purple yam popularly known as “ube.” The project hopes that with this livelihood approach, upland communities will practice sustainable and environmentally conscious agriculture that puts less strain on forests and other natural resources so they can function well to help slow down and fight climate change.