Puerto Princesa contains one national park (Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park— 22,000 hectares) but approximately 80,000 hectares of pristine forest neighbouring the park until very recently remained unprotected. The centre of this large forest is shaped by Cleopatra’s Needle, locally known as Puyos Ni Ibay or simply Puyos for short, the highest peak of Puerto Princesa City and surroundings (1,593 MASL).
This area is a real biological gem—not only is it the last haven for count- less endemic flora and fauna species, it further serves as the largest watershed in the City, providing water for approximately 30% of the residents in the City. Most importantly, it is the ancestral domain of the last remaining 200 members of the diminishing indigenous Batak tribe, who have inhabited the area since time immemorial.
The Almaciga tree (Agathis philippinensis) is the primary non-timber forest product of the forests of Cleopatra’s Needle—its high-value resin represents approximately 80% of the income of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) who have lived in this area since time immemorial. This ancient coniferous tree used to dominate the forests of northern Palawan—over-harvesting, together with illegal activities, now threaten its existence. The indigenous communities in the area together with CS aim to ensure the future of the Almaciga tree, and thus livelihood and existence of the IPs, through research,
reforestation, education & training, and enforcement.
Copyright © 2020 Centre for Sustainability PH , Inc. - All Rights Reserved.