Navigating autonomy and forest conservation in two Philippine contested frontiers

This research project explores the intersection of indigenous peoples’ struggle for self-determination and forest conservation in two Philippine contested frontiers. Using Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) as a thematic entryway and inspired by decolonial feminism and political ecology as methodological anchors, it interrogates how the forested mountains of Mt. Kitanglad and Mt. Kalatungan (re)shape state and indigenous peoples’ relations, particularly the Talaandig peoples of Bukidnon. In the context of protected area making and forest conservation, the study aims to understand the Talaandig peoples’ project of self-determination/autonomy as well as old and new arrangements of power and territorial sovereignties that emerge from state-nature-indigenous peoples’ encounters. Building on various scholarships, the study is particularly interested in unpacking the politics of the middle ground and the entanglements, collaborations, and contestations it generates.

  • Funding: AAP/Self-funded
  • Time: 2021-2027
  • People involved: Mary Ann Manahan (PhD researcher); Jeroen Adam (supervisor), Esther Marijnen (co-supervisor, Wageningen University), Donna Andrews (member, Doctoral Advisory Committee, University of Johannesburg)