The Obu Manuvu Bantay Bukid with CENRO-Davao City staff and Forest Protection Officer Joshua Donato of EGIP Foundation pose during their regular monitoring and foot patrolling around their ancestral domain forest.
The Obu-Manuvu community through their 43 deputized Obu-Manuvu forest guards of DENR and City Government of Davao, continue their regular foot patrolling within their ancestral forest with more than 2000 hectares of tropical forest and reporting and taking action in case of violations like illegal logging, mining, poaching, etc. in coordination with the DENR and NCIP to protect their ancestral forest and known watersheds.
On August 21-23, 2018, ten (10) forest guards together with two (2) EGIPF staff were accompanied by two (2) representatives from CENRO-Davao in monitoring and patrolling their ancestral forest to personally visit the site after they received a news that there is a group of people that illegally cut the trees and establish a small village somewhere in Kalatong area.Indeed, the illegal activities were observed in the areas of Kalatong and Tabak- Carmen side, more or less 200 Has, such as forest clearing, illegal cutting of trees and timber harvesting and unauthorized building of structures. The area in AD where illegally cleared to make a ranch, was also visited. The forest guards were assisted by the CENRO staff in in gathering the needed data and information to investigate and file a case to the violators.
In addition, a substantial number of traps for fauna such as Philippine deer, Philippine warty pig and other small mammals was observed during the monitoring period. Illegal logging, timber harvesting, and kaingin/deforestation are other rampant threats that was observed during the same time frame. According to some forest guards, putting massive numbers of snare and goose traps is the traditional way of hunting forest animals as source of food or protein. However, since the actual monitoring and patrolling began, the forest guards informed the members of their community about the adverse effects of massive trapping, especially the effects on the existence of different wildlife, so trapping and hunting in the areas were eventually reduced. The magnitude of trapping described is not only wasteful but it is also poses a threat to the existence of different wildlife and a number of important species in their natural habitat. Records of several wildlife getting trapped and killed have increased during the past two decades.
As of now, report was submitted to the DENR Region Office through CENRO Davao City, NCIP, Office of the City Mayor and to the Unified Obu-Manuvu Tribal Council of Leaders and Elders. Unfortunately, those cases are still pending to be resolved and we still heard the news that another group went to the same area to do the same illegal activities.