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Mount Tagub-Kampalili ICCA, Philippines

Mount Tagub-Kampalili ICCA is a proposed Philippine Eagle Critical Habitat, or Nanganganib na tirahan ng mga Agila, in Mindanao Island, Philippines. The ICCA was established in partnership with the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) in 2009, and is governed by the Mandaya indigenous people. The Madaya live in four villages, and number around 800 people. The communities govern their ICCA through a Local Community Governing Council and Indigenous People's Organisation, and have established the Mandaya Association of Taocanga Tribal Council, Inc. The PEF initiative assisted the communities in installing a forest management regime. Rules and regulations relating to natural resources are determined by local religious leaders and a Council of Elders.

The Ancestral Domain of the Mandaya communities covers an estimated 156km2 of land with portions falling within the municipalities of Manay and Caraga. Natural landmarks serve as boundaries that separate the domain from neighbouring claims, which were agreed upon by all neighbouring indigenous peoples' leaders. The domain is nestled within the Mt. Tagub-Kampalili Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) along the Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor (EMBC).

The communities rely on subsistence agriculture, and villagers are assigned plots of land through customary law. The forest is intrinsically linked to their way of life, providing a multitude of ecosystem services. These include building materials, food, water and medicines.

An active Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) nest was found in the area in 2007. The presence of these top predators is a good indicator of ecosystem health, and led to the intervention by the PEF. A no-take area has been established, covering a 1km radius around the nest. Based on the conservation importance of the Philippine Eagle nesting territory, the community declared it as an Environmentally Critical Area (ECA) under the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997, covering 36km2 of forest.

The Ancestral Domain is one of the most important high elevation forests along the EMBC and hosts many restricted-range species. In 2006, a survey conducted by the PEF within the Mt. Kampalili-Puting Bato KBA recorded at least 68 species of birds (33 Philippine endemics), 25 species of mammals (16 Philippine endemics) and 11 species of frogs and reptiles (9 Philippine endemics). Thirty-five species of globally important birds and 22 restricted range species were previously listed for this KBA. There are at least 23 vertebrate species and seven species of plants that are considered globally threatened. Rafflesia verrucosa, a new species of small-flowered Rafflesia was also recorded within the Tagub Kampalili ICCA.

The EMBC is the largest contiguous forest block, and probably the largest Philippine Eagle habitat, in Mindanao Island. Of the 21 known nests on the island, five were recorded in KBAs along the corridor. These areas overlap with ancestral domains, local watersheds, protected areas, and mineral and stewardship areas.

In a separate biodiversity indexing process conducted by the PEF and a team of biologists from the Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, species important for conservation were recorded within the ancestral domain. Of the fifty bird species encountered, more than half are endemic or restricted-range species. Eleven species of fruit bats recorded, four of which were endemic; the Philippine pygmy fruit bat, Haplonycteris fischeri; musky fruit bat, Ptenochirus jagori; lesser musky fruit bat, Ptenochirus minor, and the Philippine horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus inops.

Other recorded mammals were the gymnure (Podogymura sp.), shrew (Crocidura beatus), tree shrew (Urogale everetti), squirrel, and seven murid rodents (Apomys spp., Bullimus bagobos, Crunomys spp., Rattus everetti and Tarsomys sp.).

Important Philippine Eagle prey, such as the Philippine flying lemur (Cynocephalus volans), and Philippine long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis), were also observed. Other large mammals include the Philippine warty pig Sus philippensis, Philippine brown deer Cervus mariannus, and palm civets.

In addition to protecting biodiversity, the community's conservation efforts help to preserve the important ecosystem services that the forest provides. The forests contribute to the water supply and regulate the microclimate. The communities also derive many economic benefits, directly and indirectly, from the forests. The communities are also involved in the National Greening Project, and receive financial incentives to rehabilitate denuded forest.

With assistance from the Department of Natural Resources (DENR), the community applied for a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim (CADC). On November 28, 1997, a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim (CADC 109) was awarded. The CADC covers a total of 69.16 km2 which is roughly 44% of the total claim. The DENR also facilitated the development of an Ancestral Domain Management Plan (ADMP) which stipulates a five-year development mechanism for the CADC area, and the communities' ICCA is written into this plan. It is hoped that a full Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT), covering the entire ancestral domain, will be issued by 2017.

This case study was originally published by UNEP-WCMC. The content was provided by the custodians of this ICCA. The ICCA has been self-declared and has not been through a peer-review process to verify its status. More details on this process can be found here. The contents of this website do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of UN Environment Programme or WCMC.