As part of its support of scaling up biodiversity-friendly livelihoods, USAID Protect Wildlife brought indigenous almaciga tappers, university researchers, and project partners from Palawan to the Mount Hamiguitan range in Davao Oriental province to learn sustainable practices in harvesting almaciga resin.
Also known as Manila copal, almaciga resin is widely used in producing wax, paint, varnish, lacquer, and polishing and water-proofing products. It is one of the Philippines’ top non-timber products for export. However, improper harvesting methods can endanger almaciga trees, which puts the livelihoods of upland indigenous communities in southern Palawan at risk.
At Mount Hamiguitan, learners from Palawan saw how local tappers in Governor Generoso municipality carefully and efficiently harvest almaciga resin while avoiding damage to the cambium tissue layer and maintaining the tree’s health. More than learning this technique, the participants also gained useful insights into how the local government of Governor Generoso, as permit granter for almaciga resin harvesting, is managing this natural resource sustainably by regulating the schedules for tapping the almaciga trees and the volume of resin to be harvested. (PWP/ Lawrence San Diego)