dario_novellinoDr Dario Novellino (CBCD, Italy) ‘Enabling the “indigenous voice”: beyond technocratic solutions to forest conservation on Palawan Island (the Philippines)’ (2007)

The project intended to empower indigenous communities on Palawan Island (the Philippines) and equip them with tools: (a) for recording their ‘ecological knowledge’ as well as the threats posed to this by large-scale corporations; (b) for communicating such concerns to policy makers; and (c) for legally supporting their land claims and resource rights.

This process has entailed a transferring of crucial information from indigenous communities to provincial and national/international agencies – as well as some degree of feedbacks from the provincial/national levels to local communities.  Particular emphasis has been placed on the creation of meaningful audio-visually mediated exchanges between different indigenous groups and farmers of Palawan, in order to strengthen grass-root alliances and informal networks. The indigenous ‘voices’, experiences and wealth of ecological knowledge have been circulated in the form of audio-visual statements at various institutional levels and amongst communities themselves. This has contributed to ensure that unique indigenous perspectives, ecological knowledge, visions and aspirations have been communicated to decision makers, conservationists, and other stakeholders.  The final objective is to influence the design and implementation of environmental policies, and thus to counter the expansion of mining and oil palm expansion on indigenous homelands.



2010 with W. H. Dressler “The Role of ‘hybrid’ NGOs in the Conservation and Development of Palawan Island, the Philippines”, co-authored with Wolfram Dressler. Society & Natural Resources Journal. Vol 23 (2):165 – 180

2010. From Indigenous Customary Practices to Policy Interventions: The Ecological and Socio-cultural Underpinnings of the Non-timber Forest Trade on Palawan Island, the Philippines in Sarah A Laird, Rebecca J. Mc Lain and Rachel P. Wynberg (Eds) Wild Product Governance: Finding Policies that Work for Non-Timber Forest Products, pp. 183-197. Earthscan: London, Washington DC.

2009. From Impregnation to Attunment: A Sensory View of how Magic Works. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI) (N.S.) 15, 755-776

2009. From Museum collections to field research: an ethnographic account of Batak basket-weaving knowledge in Palawan Island, Philippines. Journal of Indonesia and the Malay World 37 (108): 203-224

Recently, the film was screened and selected for the Tofino Indigenous Film Festival held in Canada on 11 May 2010 . The film is also available on Vimeo: