Cutting trees and the dynamics of social change

Edsel Sajor

Research output: Working paperAcademic


In recent years, state policy makers have increasingly promoted indigenous practices on the use of forest resources, incorporating them in the government sustainable forest management program in the uplands. In the Philippines, one such policy pertains to the Ifugao muyong system. Greater economic integration of the village society in post-War decades had led to the commoditization of timber and intensification of tree cutting to meet the demands of export-oriented woodcarving and, later, the shift to modern, lowland-style of houses as local income earnings improved due to commercialization of farming. In a situation where political incorporation of an upland village with the modern state has comparatively lagged behind, a high degree of degree of social autonomy in land and forest resource use and control has conditioned the active participation of local people in the market-dominated economy. This article argues for a grounded understanding of historical circumstances of people's indigenous practices related to forest and timber use, management and exchange at the village level and, on this basis, for setting coherence in various discordant state policies concerning local livelihoods, agriculture, and the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages56
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series


  • ISS Working Paper-General Series


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