Kusor, Palawan, Philippines, June 20, 2019.
By Jessie Cereno, Talakatha Creatives.
In Kusor, southern Palawan, Philippines, women farmers plant cassava to help augment their livelihood and get less resources from the forest. The USAID-funded Protect Wildlife Project, together with partners like Lutheran World Relief and Sunlight Foods Corporation, is teaching and helping communities in southern Palawan to grow high-value crops, such as ube and cassava, and improve their farming practices. Together with local government partners, Protect Wildlife trains beneficiary communities in sustainable farming of high-value crops as an alternative to livelihood practices that adversely impact our natural resources and wildlife habitats. The project partnered with ECLOF, along with local governments and the private sector, to help communities get started on farming high-value crops and connecting them with buyers who can guarantee sustainable purchase of those crops, while redirecting farmers’ activities away from forests to help conserve natural resources and protect biodiversity. By enhancing their livelihoods, these farmers, many of whom are from upland indigenous communities who rely on traditional slash-and-burn farming, exert less pressure on their land, forests, water, wildlife and other natural resources, particularly in the Mount Mantalingahan protected landscape where they live.