Palawan: this is our World between mountains and sea
We are a coalition of indigenous peoples from Palawan (the Philippines) defending our own communities against all forms of land grabbing. We reject food production systems that contribute to climate change and to the privatization of natural resources, which are taken away from us and put under the control of large corporations. We strongly support self-determined sustainable development built on our own culture and traditions.
Securing land, forest and natural resources for our Pala’wan, Tagbanuwa and Batak indigenous populations in the Province of Palawan, so to ensure a healthy environment, a rich biodiversity and culturally viable livelihoods for the future generations.
Our mission is fulfilled through various strategies:
We document and monitor the adverse impact of agribusiness firms and other corporations;
We take legal actions against them and provide paralegal assistance to impacted communities;
We assist Indigenous Environmental and Human Rights Defenders (EHRDs) and their families, especially when facing life-threats and victimization;
We create political space and facilitate dialogue between our indigenous communities’ representatives, government officials and agencies;
We provide basic livelihood support to indigenous households in need;
We assist our communities to obtain their CADTs (Certificates of Ancestral Domain Titles) and to apply for licenses to legally collect and sell non-timber forest products (NTFPs)
We exercise pressure on our government and private companies through strategic advocacy actions and international campaigns;
A province where the rights and cultural diversity of our indigenous communities are respected and celebrated and where our traditional knowledge and practices become key elements for Palawan environmental protection and people’s wellbeing.
Initially, our organization came into being as an informal task force named Task Force Opposing Large Scale Plantations in Palawan or TASK-FORCE TUMUTUTOL SA MALAWAKANG NG MGA PLANTASYON SA PALAWAN (TF-TMPP). This was constituted on August 2014, in the Municipality of Quezon. Subsequently, as more members joined this group, it was decided to rename the task force as GROUP COALITION AGAINST LAND GRABBING, INC. (CALG), which was then legally registered as a non-profit organization under the Security Exchange Commission of the Philippines on February 13, 2015. Even before its formal registration, the majority of CALG founding members have been working for many years on indigenous rights and environmental conservation issues.
CALG COMPOSITION AND ORGANIZATIONAL CHART
The CALG Board is composed by its President, the Vice-President, the General Project Manager, the Executive Director, the Treasurer and the Municipal Coordinators who are based in the Municipalities of Quezon, Espanola, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza, Rizal and Puerto Princesa.
GENERAL PROJECT MANAGER
ANCESTRAL DOMAIN OFFICER
MUNICIPAL COORDINATORS (QUEZON, ESPANOLA, BROOKE'S POINT, BATARAZA)
The CALG Board makes the yearly plan of activities and set the objectives and targets of its advocacy agenda. It overviews the implementation of all activities and provides advices and suggestions on how to improve the work of our organization. The Board also approves the yearly budget and is the main body in charge of solving internal conflicts and dealing with field emergencies. Election for BOD members takes place every three years.
OUR FIELD VOLUNTEERS
Our staff is mainly composed of well-respected communities’ leaders and representatives. We prefer our names to remain anonymous for our own safety. It is not uncommon for us to receive death-treats due to of our advocacy and one of our organization’s founding members was murdered on April 2016.
OUR NATIONAL PARTNERS
In Palawan we coordinate various initiatives with NATRIPAL (United Tribes of Palawan), the largest indigenous federation province-wide and with the Batak Federation (Bayaan it Batak kat Palawan – BBKP).
At the national level we work closely with the Human Rights Commission of the Philippines (CHRP) and with the Regional Office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
We also collaborate with Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education), particularly on issues dealing with collective human rights, traditional knowledge, customary laws and governance.
OUR INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS
The Global ICCA Consortium (of which CALG is a member) supports our actions aiming at the recognition and protection of territories and areas conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities (ICCAs).
Rainforest Rescue - Germany (Rettet den Regenewald e. V.) helps us in bringing the struggle of our communities to global attention through international campaigns and petitions. It also finances part of our advocacy and small-scale livelihood initiatives.
Survival International (UK) – Provides us with international coverage on advocacy issues related to Pala’wan and Batak indigenous peoples.
Forest Peoples’ Programme - FPP (UK) supports our advocacy against oil palm plantations and helps us in linking our group with donors and with other indigenous organizations sharing similar visions and objectives. In 2015 CALG, together with FPP, was the co-organizer of the 5th Regional Conference on Agribusiness and Human Rights being held in Puerto Princesa (Palawan);
The Grassroots Foundation (Germany) has supported our Tagbanuwa communities in Puerto Princesa West Coast against land grabbing by migrants;
The Rainforest Fund (US) supports our communities in fulfilling their rights and sustaining their livelihoods, through various paralegal initiatives, advocacy action and community-based projects;
The Paul Fayerabend Foundation (Switzerland) is sustaining some of our activities aiming at empowering Batak custodians in Northern Palawan.
Cfdt (Confederation Francaise Democratique du Travail) - the first French trade union – has helped us in financing and setting up a Batak cultural exhibition and a conference on oil palms in Paris
32 art Studio has assisted us in building awareness on Batak culture through the designing of a photo-book.