Creating a New Benchmark of Sustainable Development for Indigenous Peoples
But first, we must look within to discover the root causes of poverty, combined with pressing concerns that meet basic human needs, so we can design effective methods for positive change and inclusive economic growth. On the one hand we are presented with the challenges ahead; but on the other, it creates vast opportunities.
Ultimately, the disenfranchised peoples of the world must be empowered in order to build a peaceful, productive, prosperous future for themselves and their families. The challenges of humanity are daunting, but if enough brilliant people can converge to create conversations and collaboration for change, there is great hope for the future. This is the vision of Global Action Platform and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Solutions (GPSS).
GPSS brings responsible companies, institutions, and investors together into emerging markets for sustainable development. We bring the world’s best technologies and innovations to maximize significant economic impact linked with positive social, environmental, and governance benefits to empower millions of indigenous people; thus creating community models for scalable, sustainable shared value solutions and development, starting with the Philippines.
One year ago, at the Global Action Summit, GPSS joined forces with the Indigenous Peoples Economic Union (IPEU) of Mindanao in the Philippines, to begin constructing a balanced model of economic, educational, social, and environmental development intended to benefit millions of indigenous peoples on 500,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) of land.
The creation of a large-scale development model this Complex, demands much thought, analysis, and strategic planning. With this comes a includes careful implementation of the most impactful projects, with effective partners using best practices, To lay a firm foundation for this paradigm of prosperity, a new benchmark Of sustainable development for indigenous peoples, we have formed 12 intentional building blocks this past year.
Years of observation and experience in Mindanao compared with data from various government and developmental agencies reveals root causes of the poverty, malnutrition, illegal logging and mining, and social decay in the indigenous Caraga areas.
2. DEVELOPMENT OF GPSS IPEU ORGANIZATIONS, STAFF, AND OFFICE
During the past year, GPSS has invested time and resources for the development of the IPEU - GPSS office in Butuan City (Caraga) with vital equipment for operations, and for staff development. Sultan Julius and GPSS have formed a team of experts to lead our projects: A doctor of Tree Genetics to lead our Agroforestry Projects; Former Director of Biodiversity for ASEAN countries and a Director of Sustainability and Community Development lead our Comprehensive Development Plan; A world renown Director of Aquaculture, Ecosystems and Society for our fish farming; Managing Directors for our newly-purchased veneer plant; Philippine Land Bank Executive as our local CFO; DENR Mapping Expert; and two local attorneys to insure the legality of every decision we make.
3. COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Our highly qualified Caraga team, in cooperation With the DENR, is gathering data from every major agency in the Philippines, in addition to international sources, to create a land development master plan for all 24 indigenous areas that comprise the 1.2 million acres. To create this comprehensive development plan, we must integrate data in relation to topography of the land, soil mapping, weather and rainfall statistics, irrigation, minerals, health, education, infrastructure, population, and more.
No one has ever done a comprehensive development plan in Philippines of this magnitude and detail, and this plan will enable us to bring the most effective projects to the right areas, assuring a greater degree of success for every project.
4. DEVELOPING A PARTNERSHIP WITH PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
The new government in the Philippines is committed to integrity and rooting out corruption. They are now focused on our efforts in Caraga as a priority, and the future of development in the Philippines. Because of this, it has enabled our group to develop close partnerships with key government agencies that must approve and monitor investable projects in the Philippines. The government has even expressed interest in creating joint ventures and PPP’s (Public Private Partnerships) to provide greater security to corporate partners and investors.
5. TRAINING CENTER FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
To solve the problems of hunger and malnutrition in Caraga, it is essential to train the indigenous peoples to produce food for their families. They must be taught how to develop their land, as well as how to protect and replenish their forests. GPSS has requested leaders from the Philippine Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Agricultural Training Institute, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) , to create an Agriculture / Aquaculture / Agroforestry / Community Development Training Institute for the indigenous peoples of Caraga and in other regions of Mindanao. Each of these agencies have enthusiastically agreed to work together with GPSS and create a curriculum specifically tailored for our projects per sector. We plan to launch the first training seminar in Caraga by the first quarter of 2017.
In our development plan, prior to the launch of each agricultural project in the future, the indigenous peoples will be trained with the specific knowledge needed to insure a greater degree of success in each project. Education is the first, essential step for launching an agricultural revolution in Mindanao. GPSS is thrilled, and extremely grateful to the Philippine government for their incredible partnership in making this a reality.
6. FOOD SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAM
GPSS has partnered with a top Mindanao based agricultural expert who has developed a unique food sustainability program. This program includes private gardens (approx. 3,200 meters) that supply a variety of nutritious daily food for an entire family. Each garden is completely sustainable, with all compost needs coming directly from its own waste. This eliminates the reliance on external support, which tends to be a problem for remote villages in mountains. As well as providing necessary food, it can also provide cash crops to supply these families with earning potential.
His team has agreed to work our Training Center for Indigenous Peoples, and his food sustainability program will be the first course to be taught during the first quarter of 2017. The GPSS - IPEU team will work with tribal leaders in all 24 indigenous areas, and have each area send sis leaders to be trained. After training, these leaders will return to their areas and establish an agricultural extension training for the surrounding mountain villages. In effect, we hope this strategy will enable the rapid reproduction of agricultural training and food sustainability for the reduction of hunger and malnutrition in Caraga.
In 2017, we will need partners to assist in the funding of sustainability gardens for thousands of indigenous families. The success of this program will ultimately alleviate hunger for millions of indigenous people in Caraga and set a new standard for the world to see.
7. VENEER TO STOP ILLEGAL LOGGING
GPSS — IPEU has created a joint venture partnership with an innovative company that has a presence in both the Philippines and the USA. Together we are purchasing a veneer plant by the end of 2016. Presently, we have a 6 million cubic meter supply of legal timber through the Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) project of the DENR, and our veneer plant will service the CBFM and indigenous areas to facilitate the processing of legal trees only. This will allow the DENR to enforce the closing Of Veneer plants owned by unscrupulous traders who arc promoting and enabling the cutting of primary forest trees illegally.
This type of win-win project is what we are working to design and develop. It serves to help stop illegal logging and save the remaining primary forest. It provides a good income for all the families who planted trees through the CBFM National Greening Program, and it produces revenue for the partners of GPSS who support this massive life-changing initiative.
We're excited to introduce our new joint venture partner to the world at this year’s Global Action Summit in Nashville.
8. PLANNING FOR MASSIVE REFORFSTATION
GPSS — IPEU is working with two innovative corporations in the Philippines, and with Dr. Nuevo (our tree geneticist), and the Philippine DENR, to launch a massive reforestation (‘Rainforestation’) project in several stages. Our goal over the next four years is to plant 200,000 hectares (500,000 acres) of soft and hard wood trees. This will help to restore biodiversity in several indigenous areas, and will provide jobs and income for many indigenous peoples for years to come.
9. PLANNING FOR INTEGRATED AGRICULTURAL PROJECTS
GPSS and IPEU have worked with indigenous peoples to allocate specific sections of land for particular crops. We're currently working with several partners, domestic and abroad, to develop comprehensive planning for larger scale agricultural projects featuring:
These projects will supply lifelong work and steady income for the indigenous people of Caraga.
It will also provide a balanced approach to inclusive economic growth, as well as create programs with traced, verified product. The indigenous people are not only employed, but they are actual stakeholders with GPSS in a multi-stakeholder model, which is a radically different & honest approach for the true entitled land owners.
10. PLANNING FOR AQUACULTURE PROJECTS
Increasing global population, coupled with increased per-capita seafood consumption, result in a constant growing demand for seafood. Wild fisheries can’t sustain this growing demand. An estimated 30 million metric tons will need to be produced in order to maintain the present level of per-capita consumption by the year 2030, and it will come almost entirely from the aquaculture industry. We need solutions!
GPSS is working with top aquaculture experts and owners of fisheries in Mindanao, The United States, Latin America, and Asia to create joint ventures and investments in our designated areas.
Our list of species include:
11 . FOCUS ON ENTIRE VALUE CHAIN
GPSS — IPEU and our new joint venture partner are focused together on the entire value chain in all of our projects, producing energy from wood waste, ethanol from sugar cane, NCC from abaca, advanced post-harvest operations with cocoa, coffee, and other crops, and developing other innovative sources for additional jobs and streams of revenue. This is the future of renewables.
12. PROMOTION AT THE UN, WORLD BANK, AND GLOBAL ACTION SUMMIT
GPSS is constantly showcasing the Caraga Challenge on key platforms in order to promote this world changing model, build our network of corporate partnerships and nonprofit support, and widen our investor base. With growth each day, we must share what we’re learning in real time with other nations and regions of the world. As the philanthropic arm to GPSS, Global Action Platform has promoted this initiative and these projects at the UN, World Bank Forum, and at the Global Action Summit. We're thrilled to be back at the Global Action Summit and Show the incredible progress that we've made in just one year.
The Caraga Challenge is a once in a century opportunity, and it is a microcosm of what is needed and what can be done in every region of the world where poverty is one of the few commodities that is sustainable.
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.