The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has come up with a book that immortalizes the traditional practices of the people of Panay and Guimaras islands in terms of managing the environment, which are worth emulating.

The book, entitled “From Seas to the Mountains (Kadagatan Tubtub Kabukidan): Traditional Knowledge Practices of Panay and Guimaras,” shows how traditional knowledge systems and practices promoted cultural resiliency and sustainable development in the two Visayan Islands.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, who led the launch at the University of the Philippines-Visayas in Iloilo City, said the book is inspired by the tried and tested environmental management methods employed by the indigenous peoples that have made coastal and upland communities of Panay and Guimaras resilient over the years.

“The adaptive and survival instincts of the ancestors of Panay and Guimaras have honed their traditional knowledge systems and have become their effective mechanisms to protect the environment,” Cimatu said in his speech.

More than anything else, Cimatu said the book is a story of resilience from which there is much to learn.

The book that was co-produced with the UP-Visayas, describes the life of the people of the two islands in the olden times and showcases their pollution-free environment with clean rivers and seas, fresh air and forests with abundant wildlife.

According to Cimatu, the book will help readers look back at the simpler life in the past to seek solutions for the current state of the country’s environment where the growing demands of the economy have led to the abusive extraction of natural resources and to land, air and water pollution.

Also present at the book launch were Senator Loren Legarda, the teams from UP Visayas, Aklan State University, Capiz State University, Guimaras State College, University of Antique, and West Visayas State University who collaborated in writing the book.

Senator Legarda, who spearheaded the publication of the book, says that “at this day and age of globalization, it is extremely important that we continue pursuing efforts that convey the seemingly lost traditional; knowledge systems of our groups.”

Cimatu thanked and congratulated the book’s authors and contributors for coming up with a work of art that they can be truly proud of - a written and visual record of environmental practices of the people of Panay and Guimaras.

He ended up his speech with a reminder that “taking care of our environment today is taking care of our future generation.” ###