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Ventura Timber Corporation’s logging operations on ancestral lands of Mamanwas and Manobos, Northern Mindanao, Philippines

“We are deprived by the resource management of our Ancestral domain, we will not let the development projects like mining and logging enter our territory.” Datu Ceasar Batao, leader of indigenous KATRIMMA organization.


Ventura Timber Corporation (VTC) has an enduring history of “corporate irresponsibility” in Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Norte, related to mining and logging activities [2]; the latter the focus of this entry. During 1983 and 2008, the company held a Timber License Agreement (TLA), covering 2,762ha, which after expiry was applied to be converted into an Integrated Forestry Management Agreement (IFMA). VTC’s logging activities are located on ancestral lands of the Mamanwa-Minobo tribes, represented by the Kahugpongan sa Tribong Manobo Mamanwa (KATRIMMA) organization, who fears irreversible loss of livelihoods and negative impacts on their lives and culture [3]. Deforestation would further result in heavy floods during the rainy season, which in turn is a common cause of heavy soil erosion. Floods moreover would lead to siltation of the nearby coastal areas and the destruction of eight marine sanctuaries located in Cortes municipality [4].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Ventura Timber Corporation’s logging operations on ancestral lands of Mamanwas and Manobos, Northern Mindanao, Philippines
State or province:Surigao del Sur
Location of conflict:Municipalities of Cortes, Lanuza, Madrid
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Land acquisition conflicts
Logging and non timber extraction
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

According to documents published by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Ventura Timber Corporation (VTC) holds an Integrated Forestry Management Agreement (IFMA) IFMA No.-02-2010. One part of the concessions is located in Surigao del Sur, in Madrid, Lanuza and Cortes Municipality, covering 4,591ha; the other part is located in Agusan del Norte, Jabonga municipality, covering 2,772ha. The total size of the IFMA hence amounts to 7,363ha. It was granted on February 10, 2010, and expires on December 31, 2035 [9].

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Project area:7,363
Level of Investment:unknown
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:unknown
Start of the conflict:2008
Company names or state enterprises:Ventura Timber Corporation (VTC) from Philippines - logging, mining
Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation (MMDC) from Philippines - mining
Relevant government actors:Local Governmental Units (LGUs) of Lanuza, Cortes and Madrid Municipality
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
Environment Management Bureau (EMB),
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Kahugpongan sa Tribong Manobo Mamanwa (KATRIMMA); Legal Rights Center Kalikasan (LRC-KsK); Green Mindanao Association, Inc.; LanuzaBantayanGayud (LABAG); Lanuza women’s organization; Parish church of Lanuza; Social Action of Tandag
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Indigenous Mamanwas-Manobo tribes
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Other Environmental impactsSiltation of coastal areas, due to floods caused by deforestation, occurring in rainy season
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..)
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Institutional changes
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Project temporarily suspended
Development of alternatives:KATRIMMA, respresentative organization of the local indigenous people, want the government to withdraw the forestry concession of Ventura Timber Corporation.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The nationwide moratorium on logging caused a stop of the IFMA concession, however, illegal logging has increased in the area, and moreover VTC has mining permits, through logging (though in other) areas may continue for exploration purposes.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA)
[click to view]

FAO Review of Forestry Policies in the Philippines
[click to view]

[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[4] (accessed 18/05/2015)
[click to view]

[1] PIPLINKS online (18/08/2010): "NCIP Useless in Protecting Indigenous Rights" (accessed 18/05/2015)
[click to view]

[2] online (30/10/2012): "Anti-mining, anti-illegal logging activist survives ambush" (accessed 18/05/2015)
[click to view]

[3] PIPLINKS online (26/10/2010): "Manobos, Mamanwa ask ancestors’ spirits for help vs logging firm" (accessed 18/05/2015)
[click to view]

[5] MindaNews online (16/10/2010): "Logging firm's IFMA in Surigao Sur 'defective and erroneous'" (accessed 18/05/2015)
[click to view]

[6] PIPLINKS online (06/10/2010): "Mamanwa and Manobo tribes oppose logging inside their ancestral domain" (accessed 18/05/2015)
[click to view]

[8] National Mapping and Resource Information Authority' Geoportal. (accessed 18/05/2015)
[click to view]

[10] Mindanews online (17/09/2012): "WHERE HAVE ALL THE FORESTS GONE? Illegal logging intensifies in Surigao Sur despite total log ban" (accessed 18/05/2015).
[click to view]

[11] Philippine Daily Inquirer (12/11/2011): "Environmentalists buck lifting of mining log ban" (accessed 18/05/2015)
[click to view]

[7] Petition on (29/10/2010): "Save KATRIMMA Ancestral Domain against Ventura Logging Company in Cortes, Surigao del Sur" (accessed 18/05/2015)
[click to view]

Other documents

[9] List of IFMA, as published by the DENR in March, 2010
[click to view]

Official Letter
[click to view]

Geoportal Screenshot
[click to view]

Logged trees Source:
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:A. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB) / arnim "dot" scheidel "at" gmail "dot" com
Last update05/06/2015
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