An Emerging Philippine Case Study
Throughout human history, the contact between developed economies and indigenous people in undeveloped areas has created tension, and often tragedy. Today the challenge of creating a positive connection between developing and advanced orders remains a pressing, if elusive goal.
On the one hand, advanced technologies and markets offer benefits needed by indigenous people in today’s world. On the other hand, connecting indigenous peoples with global markets and technology can be extremely disruptive, often resulting in vastly unequal benefits to the two sides. So the compelling question remains: how can the transformational power of advanced technologies and markets be connected in constructive ways with indigenous societies in undeveloped, endowment–rich regions?
The challenge can be illustrated today in the Philippines. With ninety-seven percent of the primary forest cut for timber, ninety percent of the coral reefs endangered, cities filled with high levels of pollution, and the majority of the indigenous peoples, lacking even birth certificates, surviving without education, healthcare, sufficient food supply, and hope for a productive and prosperous future, the problems are clear.
But now, new developments in the Philippine government and with new global partnerships emerging, the Philippines can also, perhaps, offer the world a model for how to manage a shared value integration of indigenous and advanced societies.
The story begins in 1997, when President Fidel V. Ramos signed historical legislation creating the Indigenous People’s Right’s Act of the Philippines. This Act empowers the indigenous peoples of the Philippines to govern themselves and to claim ownership and development rights for their ancestral domains and natural resources. As a result of this legislation, 5.1M hectares of land on the island of Mindanao now belongs to the 40 indigenous people groups who inhabit the region. The new President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, is committed to the continuation of this legislative agenda, and has appointed new executive leadership throughout government agencies who are dedicated to integrity, the elimination of poverty, and the empowerment of indigenous peoples.
In response to this unprecedented opportunity, various indigenous people groups in the Caraga Region have joined together to create the Indigenous People’s Economic Union (IPEU). By joining together, IPEU and other groups are also creating new opportunities for comprehensive rural development in partnership with a new generation of global initiatives grounded in shared value.
In 2015, the IPEU and other tribal groups requested that the Global Partnership for Sustainable Solutions (GPSS), including the Global Action Platform as the exclusive nonprofit representative, be their official international development partner. The Global Partnership for Sustainable Solutions brings responsible companies, institutions, and investors together into emerging markets for sustainable development and is dedicated to creating community models for sustainable solutions and development issues in disadvantaged regions of the world, starting with the Philippines.
“The Global Partnership for Sustainable Solutions brings responsible companies, institutions, and investors together into emerging markets for sustainable development and is dedicated to creating community models for sustainable solutions and development issues in disadvantaged regions of the world, starting with the Philippines.”
Global Action Platform is the world’s leading universitybusiness alliance advancing scalable, sustainable solutions for abundant food, health, and prosperity. Together, GPSS and Global Action Platform are dedicated to a comprehensive social, economic, and environmental approach that creates shared benefit and global impact.
The IPEU – GPSS/GAP partnership is creating a model for scalable, sustainable, shared value solutions of integrated economic, educational, social, and environmental development that can be replicated in other parts of the world. During the past year, this emerging new partnership has created plans and connected leading companies for development in agriculture, forestry, responsible mining, and aquaculture. Our initiative is now entertaining requests for information and collaboration from foundations, investors, and companies who are interested in partnering and creating joint ventures to develop the 500,000 hectares of land currently assigned for immediate development. We are dedicated to empowering the indigenous peoples of Caraga to change history and create not only a prosperous future for the Philippines, but also a model that can be replicated in other developing regions, especially on the continents of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
“In 2015, the IPEU and other tribal groups requested that the Global Partnership for Sustainable Solutions (GPSS), including the Global Action Platform as the exclusive nonprofit representative, be their official international development partner.”
International foundations, agencies, impact investors, university leaders, philanthropists, and socially and environmentally responsible companies interested in obtaining more information may contact GPSS via firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.