An up most important event was held in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro this December, aiming at discussing and defining the future conservation strategy and efforts to be done to ensure survival of the Tamaraw in the next 30 years. The workshop was facilitated by the Conservation Planning Specialist Group of the IUCN SSC together with international partners from the Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group (AWCSG), GWC, University of Lyon France, as well as the help of local partners from MBCFi and WWF Ph. Nearly 70 people attended the workshop, representing various local stakeholders from the DENR, LGUs and Provincial Government. Closing day was blessed by inspirational words from Governor Mendiola and Congresswoman Sato of Occidental Mindoro.
Next step will be to draft and finalize the Tamaraw Conservation and Management Plan, then endorse it to Philippines authorities. This plan will be the guideline for the species conservation actions to be taken in the future.
(Working Group Discussions)
-Education is our greatest tool in fighting poverty-
Earlier this June 2018 a free Bamboo Plantation seminar was held at Villa Malasimbo, and organized by the Philippine Military. Its goal was to share and teach bamboo growing techniques, to the local Mangyan living in Puerto Galera.
Growing bamboo is a great money making opportunity, specially for the local tribes living in Puerto Galera. The workshop started of with demonstrations on how to grow new shoots using newly cut plants, it was shown how one can take care of these grafted plants and grow them. Each participant participated with a hands-on demonstration/workshop, creating their own grafted seedlings.
Malasimbo happily accepted the request to use its facilities for the purpose of this educational seminar, which allowed agricultural knowledge to be transferred to its neighbors. Bamboo has many commercial uses and successfully growing this plant can be a lucrative business. The seminar also included a talk about its commercial uses and possible business opportunity.
Malasimbo opens its door to such events and is grateful to the Philippine Military for the opportunity to participate. The event was quite a success, each participants, left the place with a certificate, new knowledge and ideas to put in action. A moment of happiness truly shared.
A major step towards the finalization of the Protected Area General Management Plan was reached thanks to a wide working meeting that gathered nearly 25 local stakeholders, IP representatives and international partners for a full week. The workshop was facilitated by Mike Appleton, from Global Wildlife Conservation whose expertise is of great help to assist and support the Protected Area Office in its mission.
This work meeting takes us a few steps forward towards the production of the Park Management Plan.
Together with the DENR-TCP and support from MBCFi partner, a third journey to the heart of Mindoro was conducted to complete the assessment of the newly confirmed population of Tamaraw. The team composed of DAF IP Field Technical Assistant, TCP rangers and MBCFi biologists, together with local Mangyan-Alangan guides and porters was focusing its attention to the east side of the surveyed range. The mission confirms the presence of Tamaraw in Oriental Mindoro, which is a major discovery for the Province.
Results show that Tamaraw range is larger than previously though. This proves that Mindoro is still sheltering substantial wild Tamaraw populations, which is a positive sign for long term conservation.
Since the beginning of the rainy season, the field research team – in a multi-collaborative effort involving DAF, TCP and the local community – has been working to gather information on tamaraw ecology and habitats. The field team, consisting of DAF’s Mangyan Field Technical Assistants, some Tamaraw Rangers and local Fufuamas (Mangyan elders), have been working with the lead of the Tamaraw Research Officer (Alvaro Gonzalez), looking at the species composition and mouvements in the tamaraw habitat. This is a great opportunity to learn from the local expertise of the Fufuamas who add critical knowledge in our tamaraw conservation mission, and for the protected area management plans.
Last June, DAF provided computer literacy training with the Mindoro Technical and Vocational Skills Training Center, inc. Field Technical Assistants and several Tamaraw rangers, most of which are Tao-Buid Mangyans, were trained in order to build know-how for the Tamaraw Conservation Program.
Last March, the new Tamaraw Research Officer, Alvaro Gonzalez Monge, began work by visiting Mounts Iglit-Baco National Park in preparation for his upcoming work on tamaraw ecology and habitat assessment. The team visited habitats in different areas inside the Park to assess the methodology that will be used in the coming months for the project.
The tamaraw annual count was carried out 16-21 of last April in Mounts Iglit-Baco Natural Park, Occidental Mindoro. DAF took part in it by providing field and technical personnel to aid in the effort, including Field Technical Assistants Jackie M. Belmonte Jr., Raddy Baldera, Program Director Emmanuel Schütz, and Tamaraw Research Officer Alvaro Gonzalez-Monge. The efforts involving TCP, local communities, other governmental organizations and several NGOs, led to a consolidated final count of 523 individuals, the highest yet recorded since annual counts started in 2000.
A two days workshop was conducted in San Jose by the Protected Area Office of Mts Iglit-Baco National Park to discuss a possible zoning system which will be established within the Protected Area.
The workshop was facilitated by GWC expert and partner in PA Management Mr Mike Appleton, who is assisting the Protected Area Superintendant (Pasu) to design the future PA Management Plan for the Park. This event gathered several Mindoro stakeholders, partners from MBCFi, as well as IUCN-SSC AWCSG coordinator, Dr. James Burton.
The goal was to initiate a round discussion and draft the possible zones that will define and drive this protected area in the future. One challenge is also to give way for the tamaraw to expand its range towards suitable areas of the Park.
(zoning system workshop)