Reginald Sarmenta


There are around 60 million indigenous people who rely on the forest for their livelihood, according to the United Nations. In the Philippines, many of them are women artisans and weavers. They greatly depend on non-timber forest products like rattan, abaca, raffia, or pandan, turning them into clothing, baskets and other objects. However, mass production of craft products has led to overexploitation of forest resources, the disappearance of sustainable practices, and an increased vulnerability to climate change. Despite policies that support community-based forest management in the Philippines, there are still complex factors preventing indigenous peoples from participating more in forest conservation. They often face extreme marginalisation and discrimination.
The location of their homes, usually in remote areas, makes it difficult for them to be represented or access opportunities. Indigenous women face even more barriers because of their gender.

About the programme

Woven Networks aims to spark exciting collaborative research and development of the weaving sector in the Philippines. It is supported by the British Council’s Crafting Futures global programme. 

Woven Networks Scoping Grants 

The Woven Networks Scoping Grants aim to initiate new collaborations and support projects that champion indigenous knowledge systems towards sustainable resource management and improved livelihood of craft communities.
In order to:
  • identify relevant craft communities that rely on forest products
  • understand their challenges and ambitions
  • meet new partners and collaborators within the Philippines and United Kingdom
  • conduct related research and propose ways forward.

Woven Networks Toolkit Grant 

The Woven Networks Toolkit Grant supported community leaders who have a solid track record working with artisan and craft communities in the Philippines, especially in remote areas of the country. The three grantees used the British Council Digital Craft Toolkit and developed their project proposal to:
  • better support local artisans and craft entrepreneurs in their communities and;
  • address the need to build the knowledge capacity of local artisans with entrepreneurial skills to enhance the economic sustainability of their craft.


For enquiries, please contact arts@britishcouncil.org.ph or please fill in this form

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