Southwood Timber Corporation’s logging activities on ancestral lands, Misamis Oriental, Philippines

Against deforestation and rising calamities: Indigenous groups opposing logging concession on their ancestral lands face deadly repression.


Description
On May 23, 2008, Southwood Timber Corporation (STC) was granted an 11,476ha Integrated Forest Management Agreement (IFMA), allowing the company to log trees in Gingoog municipality, Misamis Oriental. The IFMA was endorsed by the local government [1], in spite of the fact that the IFMA was located on ancestral land domains of two indigenous people tribes, of which only one of them had provided consent to the logging project [2]. The other tribe, the Minalwang community, entitled to 8000ha of the concession land, opposed the project since the beginning, because “BABALAON”, a spirit guiding them, hadn’t provided signals to agree with the project [2].
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Basic Data
NameSouthwood Timber Corporation’s logging activities on ancestral lands, Misamis Oriental, Philippines
CountryPhilippines
ProvinceMisamis Oriental
SiteGingoog municipality
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Deforestation
Logging and non timber extraction
Specific CommoditiesLand
Timber
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
According to documents published by the DENR in 2010, Southwood Timber Corporation (STC) was granted an Integrated Forest Management Agreement (IFMA), IFMA-NO. 02-2008, covering 11,476 ha located in Gingoog and Claveria Municipality, Miasamis Oriental, Northern Mindanao. The IFMA was granted on May 23, 2008, with expiry date on May 23, 2033 [7].
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Project Area (in hectares)11,476
Level of Investment (in USD)unknown
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Populationseveral thousands
Start Date23/05/2008
Company Names or State EnterprisesSouthwood Timber Corporation (STC) from Philippines - timber, logging
Asia Pacific Timber Corporation (APTCO) from Philippines - timber, forestry
Relevant government actorsDepartment of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)

Local Government Unit (LGU) of Gingoog City
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersLegal Rights and Natural Resources Center Kasama sa Kalikasan/Friends of the Earth (LRC-KsK/FoE); Ecology care (Ecop-care); Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro City (ACDO)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Fishermen
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Pastoralists
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Religious groups
Minalwang Higaonon indigenous tribe
Forms of MobilizationCommunity-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Air pollution
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Deaths
Otherhealth impacts from increasing floods and storms
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseRepression
Deaths
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Death of Alberto Berting Pinagawa
There had been movements to stop the forestry permit, such as finally the endorsement of the local governmental unit. This was followed by a nationwide logging ban.
Moratoria
Project temporarily suspended
Institutional changes
Development of AlternativesLocal communities and EJO Kalikasan wants the complete cancellation of the forestry permit, considered as illegal.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.There was a nationwide moratorium, however there were also many losses, such as the death of the anti-logging activist. Moreover, illegal logging was generally reported to have increased since the logging ban.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA)
[click to view]

FAO Review of Forestry Policies in the Philippines
[click to view]

Executive Order (EO) Nr. 23: DECLARING A MORATORIUM ON THE CUTTING AND HARVESTING OF TIMBER IN THE NATURAL AND RESIDUAL FORESTS AND CREATING THE ANTI-ILLEGAL LOGGING TASK FORCE
[click to view]

Links

[1] PIPLINKS online (18/12/2009): "12000 Signatures calling to cancel the “Legal Logging Permit” in Gingoog City" (accessed 14/05/2015)
[click to view]

[2] PIPLINKS online (01/02/2010): "Letter to DENR Secretary to Correct the Facts on the Gingoog Case" (accessed 14/05/2015)
[click to view]

[3] Save Minalwang Blog (accessed 14/05/2015)
[click to view]

[4] PIPLINKS online (21/04/2010): "Misamis Oriental Largest Illegal Logging is still Unresolved" (accessed 14/05/2015)
[click to view]

[5] Inside Mindanao online (27/12/2009): "Cry for justice for the death of anti–logging leader" (accessed 14/05/2015)
[click to view]

[6] Minda News online (12/01/2010): "CHR to probe murder of Higaonon leader" (accessed 14/05/2015)
[click to view]

[7] Minda News online (17/09/2012): "WHERE HAVE ALL THE FORESTS GONE? Illegal logging intensifies in Surigao Sur despite total log ban" (accessed on 19/05/2015)
[click to view]

Other Documents

Justice for Berting Pinagawa Source: http://saveminalwang.blogspot.com.es/p/photos.html
[click to view]

Protest march Source: http://saveminalwang.blogspot.com.es/p/photos.html
[click to view]

Protest march Source: http://saveminalwang.blogspot.com.es/p/photos.html
[click to view]

Timber logging Source: http://saveminalwang.blogspot.com.es/p/photos.html
[click to view]

List of IFMA concessions, as of March 2010 Source: DENR
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorA. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB) / arnim "dot" scheidel "at" gmail "dot" com
Last update05/06/2015
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