Subsistence strategies of an indigenous minority in the Philippines: Nonwood forest product use by the Tagbanua of Narra, Palawan

Abstract

Indigenous people, such as the Tagbanua of Palawan Island in the Philippines, are often considered to be experienced and responsible users of natural resources. The Tagbanua have traditionally been involved in the collection of nonwood forest products (NWFPs) both for trade and for subsistence purposes. The proximity of many Tagbanua communities to the forest allows them easy access to NWFPs, although various restrictions, such as distance from markets, legal land issues, and lack of formal education, prevent them from receiving more favorable earnings from the sale of NWFPs. Similarly, increasing access to manufactured products also lessens dependence on NWFPs for food, medicine, and housing purposes, although small incomes prevent extensive conversion to the use of purchased goods. The knowledge and current subsistence-level use of NWFPs by the Tagbanua from the settlement of Boong are described and discussed.

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