People and space as a factor in community-based development in Fuga Island
This study documented the perspectives of the Ilokano villagers in the island of Fuga, Aparri, Cagayan province. It identified the Ilokano community members’ connections to Fuga Island, explored the meanings that community members ascribe to Fuga, and examined their perceptions of the place and its management as a potential cultural heritage site.
Developing a shared management vision among stakeholders is central to protected areas management. Understanding the local community’s perspectives, history, culture and vision for the management of Fuga Island was especially important. Research in culture, human geography, sociology and environmental psychology has shown that attachments to a place can influence perceptions, attitudes, and behavior related to protected areas management. Natural resource decision-making that ignores a local community’s place-based meanings and emotional attachments may create conflict and distrust within the community, which may potentially compromise the ecological integrity of the area. Effective management demands a comprehensive and holistic exploration of community meanings and perceptions from the community members.
Study findings revealed a web of meanings ascribed to Fuga Island that comprised four underlying dimensions: the island as a gift, mother, identity and nature. This web also framed participants’ perceptions of the landscape and community change. It is these perceptions that should guide future public and communal involvement processes and inform decision making in the management of the island especially the incursion of development projects in the area.
While the study contributed to theory by providing a holistic, context specific, and integrative conceptual framework for the place-based meanings fundamental to a sense of place, the study also contributed to the communal goal of declaring Fuga Island a cultural legacy to the country.
Dela Cruz, R. P. (2008). People and space as a factor in community-based development in Fuga Island. SPUQC Journal, 1 (1) Retrieved from https://animorepository.dlsu.edu.ph/faculty_research/5137
Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Research
Fuga Island (Cagayan : Philippines); Cultural property—Protection—Philippines—Fuga Island; Protected areas—Philippines—Fuga Island; Community development—Philippines—Fuga Island