In November 2000, Cultural Survival was pleased to welcome Philippines TAFT Special Project Coordinator Datu Efren Mandipensa to our Cambridge offices, and to present him with a check for $3,000 to support his community's reforestation project in Mindanao. The plan is to build a Durian forest buffer zone around the remnant rainforest homeland of the indigenous Higaonon, an area targeted by loggers.
Datu holds the position of President of the United Association of Higaonon Tribes in Mindanao, Inc. As the youngest tribal leader ever installed, he has eloquently spoken at forums such as the United Nations Development Program on the worldwide effects of deforestation. He was selected by his people to head Cultural Survival's Tribal Agro-Forestry Technology (TAFT) Project. Datu's college degrees in agriculture and in forestry strengthen his message. "What will happen to the earth if my rainforest is cut down? There are not many rainforests left. The Earth needs my rainforest. It is vital to the rest of the planet, for the planet's survival."
You can help to promote the survival of the Higaonon and their way of life by protecting the forest they hold sacred. Your donation not only provides for the land's preparation and planting, but also to feed the guardian family until the Durian trees yield their harvest. $6 buys one Durian seedling. $60 supports the preparation and planting of one quarter of an acre of devastated rainforest.
Article copyright Cultural Survival, Inc.