Perceptions of Common Property in Ecosystems Under Stress: The Case of the Mt. Apo Geothermal Plant

Authors / Editors: Felix Librero Flor, Alexander G.


Conflict is oftentimes caused by differing perceptions. This paper discusses differing perceptions on common property in an ecosystem under stress. By differing perceptions, we refer to perceptions on the part of the stakeholders of this common property, Mt. Apo. Mt. Apo is an ecosystem under stress. The geothermal facility being built near its apex has disturbed its equilibrium and, as some wildlife groups would have it, has threatened its biodiversity. There are other factors contributing to this stress. The communities living within Mt. Apo constitute a primary source. So are illegal loggers and kaingineros, the hikers and tourists, orchid collectors and game hunters who trek up its slopes regularly. Mt. Apo could also be regarded as common property. It has been declared a national park and wildlife sanctuary, in other words, an integrated protected area system (IPAS). Individual ownership of tracts of land within the area is prohibited. The peak itself is held sacred by all indigenous tribes in the Southern Mindanao area. It is home to Apo Sandawa, the god of all alumahad tribes. In a sense, it is the common patrimony of the lumad and the non-lumad alike. It is within this context that the conflict situation has developed, thrived and has gone on till this day.

Published by: The Journal of Environmental Science and Management 2 (1) , 1999 | Page Nos:
Type of Publication: Conference Paper