ESSC facilitated a one-week learning visit in Bendum last April 2012 for 37 students from various Asian countries to provide an opportunity to engage with the Pulangiyen community and understand the political, socio-cultural, and economic context of natural resource management concerns and the community’s efforts at enhancing human development.
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The Pulangiyen community in Bendum is sustaining its forests back through a mixture of activities that relate to their basic needs for water and for livelihood. There are around 12 hectares under various forms of utilization that assist natural regeneration. The approach may not be comprehensive and can be viewed as patchy, as there are different reasons for different areas of regeneration. What is of critical significance is that the awareness of assisting regeneration is highly linked to the value the community puts to strengthening their culture.
The experience of Apu Palamguwan Center (APC) to sustain education as an indigenous community is important in strengthening the understanding of and opportunities for Education for Sustainable Development. The community seeks to ecologically manage their resources in ways that allow for cultural and economic development.
Peter Walpole and his team’s engagement with the Pulangiyen community in Bendum is one of accompanying the people in finding ways to live sustainably. Since 1992, initiatives were undertaken to address the different community concerns: land security, livelihood, health, education, resource management, and peace. The engagement is characterized by a deep respect for the people’s culture and identity, and the various initiatives are founded on the basis of culture.