WORLD RENOWNED GEOGRAPHER BOOSTS KASAPI FUND DRIVE
As Saami Parliament of Norway responds to Philippine Indigenous Peoples Organizations
Quezon City, Philippines. As aid relief concentrated only in urban centers of Tacloban and Leyte, a renowned geographer who has used his expertise in city neighborhood mapping focusing on mapping of American city neighborhoods and then later on global city neighborhoods mapping called for support to KASAPI’s fund drive. In a letter to MEDAIR, a Swiss-based organization that provide emergency relief and recovery in remote and devastated communities around the world, Dr. Richard Francis Dorall said, “of greater concern, is the Island of Coron which Typhoon Haiyan directly transited as it exited the Philippines. Little is being heard of the terrible destruction wrought on these islands.” Dr. Dorall, who has assisted Asian governments in Integrated Sustainable Management Planning through Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing applications, added that, “the Tagbanwa Tribe of Coron Island have pioneered the designation of the island as an ancestral domain, and designed complex domain management plans that promised them community-led, planned and managed sustainable development based on their traditional cultural systems and practices. The management plan was a result of the Coron Indigenous People working with KASAPI (National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines) and supporting agencies such as PAFID (Philippine Association for Intercultural Development) providing community participatory mapping expertise.”
Earlier, KASAPI sent out an appeal letter that was read and circulated at the Warsaw Climate Change Conference on November 12, 2013. This was followed by a second appeal November 16, 2013. Dr. Dorall said, “the passage directly over the Coron Island cut off the island from the outside world, and when communications were first re-established, KASAPI sent out an urgent appeal for assistance at the World Congress on Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland which began just before typhoon Haiyan made landfall. The immediate need at that time 10 days ago was for rubber boats. On November 16, 2013, I received a second appeal letter from KASAPI incorporating the latest developments in its campaign to raise funds for the Coron Indigenous Peoples, spelling out in greater detail what the current (and changing) community needs, and logistic mechanisms being planned to get aid to the island. I can assure you that KASAPI in particular, which is taking the lead in getting Philippine and international assistance to Coron, is an NGO of national and international stature that you can most certainly implicitly trust and work with.”
In efforts to mitigate the excruciating process to save lives, the Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) tied up all appeal letters from its member networks in the Philippines including KASAPI, KAMP, Lingkod KATRIBU, BALSA-MINDANAO and the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines. Also visible in direct relief operations in Coron include the Sambdana Institute which reported that “big trees, bamboo and fruit trees all around are uprooted and are already dying a week after the typhoon struck”. Sambdhana, which coordinated with the Tagbanua Tribe of Coron Island Association (TTCIA) and PAFID added that, “a big part of the area we trekked through is all brown and dry.” It added that, “in the village of Cabugao, roofs and walls were blown away or destroyed by falling trees. Municipal data reports 255 partially damaged homes and 294 totally damaged houses.”
Meanwhile, the Saami Parliament of Norway has responded to AIPP’s consolidated appeal. In a letter to AIPP dated November 19, 2013, it said, “the Saami Parliament will take the IP appeals with the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Norway” and expressed “our deepest sympathy for all those affected by the typhoon in the Philippines. We shortly want to inform you about our actions made”.
Philippine IPOs continually engage in direct relief efforts on communities that rarely generate headlines that urban centers get. Often overlooked in times of tragedies as now, referring KASAPI to donors like MEDAIR and like-minded donors become more imperative in order to ensure that aid is connected with people.
Giovanni B. Reyes