Project title:Catalysing the recovery of the culture and forest-linked livelihoods of hinabol weavers of Bukidnon through the forest harvest collective mark in pandemic times scoping study
Focal landscape: Higaonon indigenous community, Bukidnon
Recipient:  Emmanuelle 'Nola' Andaya
 
For the past 18 years, Nola has worked as a consultant in the Philippines and Southeast Asia on sustainable livelihoods for indigenous and forest-dependent people based on non-timber forest product (NTFP), including crafts. Her projects include livelihoods analysis and strategy development, case studies, market research on forest products, policy research, and capacity building. Her direct work with artists from various indigenous communities in the Philippines includes business capacity building, product development, and marketing. She holds a Master's Degree in Cultural Management from Spain, with a project on Indigenous Handicraft Marketing, and a Master's Degree in Comparative Local Development from Italy, with a project on Culture for Sustainable Development. She is a co-founder and board member of the CustomMade Crafts Center, a social venture that helps indigenous community partners promote their products.
The traditional abaca-based handwoven textiles of the Higaonon women. It is traditionally used as a gift in peace talks, rituals and weddings. ©

Emmanuelle Perlas Andaya

About the project

The Scoping Study aims to address the weakened weaving-based livelihoods of the women of the Higaonon Indigenous Community in Bukidnon, especially the Kaladana Weaving Group, due to the downturn of the market and travel restrictions during the pandemic. The Higaonon Weavers have revived this crafts-based livelihood since 2003, working with the non-governmental organization (NGO), non-timber forest products exchange programme (NTFP-EP), promoting sustainable livelihoods, resource management and women empowerment. The group also has developed and started practicing a quality and sustainability standards for their product, the good hinabi practice (GHP), which closely links their livelihoods with culture and resource management. However, the 2-year market slump caused by the travel restrictions and uncertain economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the sustainability of this forest-based livelihood and the continued practice of the weaving tradition. The study aims to engage the weavers and partners to catalyse the recovery of weaving-livelihood by collectively defining a marketing strategy, especially the use of non-timber forest products exchange programme (NTFP-EP) regional forrest harvest collective mark (FHCM)
 
Through this study, we would like to bring back the focus of the weavers to their weaving livelihood, to have a better understanding of the current situation of the weaving-based livelihood to better inform the marketing strategy development and tocsin and identify stakeholders that can become part of the hinabol promotion and innovation ecosystem and the FHCM, that shall ensure stronger market presence and market links in the future. Through the study, we will engage the weavers and other stakeholders in a participatory assessment of livelihood and the practice of quality and sustainability standards and protocols.
 
Finally in strategy development, we hope that the study will contribute to the strengthening and continuation of this culture-based and forest-based livelihood of the Higaonon indigenous Community by providing a guide that can help them to maneuverer the market during this challenging pandemic times and the emerging new normal.