(2007) JLP 55: 11-36
The alarming rate of forest degradation and unsustainable resource management under centralist state control in the Philippines has largely influenced the paradigm shift in the state’s position in granting the recognition and implementation of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA), otherwise known as Republic Act No. 8371 of 1997. The overall and long term goal of the policy was based on the assumption that people, when they are given the right of tenure to the land, will be more committed and concerned for its protection and conservation. Ii is argued here that the mere awarding of ancestral domain (communal) tenurial instruments alone does not automatically lead to sustainable environmental management, nor to social justice. By itself, land security through communal tenure or collective control may not guarantee sustainable resource use. This paper examines how the Philippine government’s recognition and awarding of Certificates of Ancestral Land Claims (CALC) and Ancestral Domain Claims (CADC), and the implementation of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA) has affected the indigenous communities’ resource management practices, and the rules and regulations that govern the management of resources.