Creation of collaborative research projects on Indigenous and Local Knowledge

Published: 05 October 2020
Last edited: 05 October 2020

SITMo has developed partnership with local scientific institutions like the Ifugao State University, which is working with the FAO Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) designation and has established the Ifugao Rice Terraces GIAHS Research and Development Center. Furthermore, connected to this initiative, SITMo is working in cooperation with the Ifugao State University and the Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Chengchi University of Taiwan in the project “Center for Taiwan-Philippines Indigenous Knowledge, Local Knowledge and Sustainable Development”, where partner institutions are exploring together the sustainable safeguarding and transmission of their Indigenous knowledge through exchange and collaborative research, which would enable local communities to develop sustainably. A long-term partnership with the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has been established in 2012 to undertake archaeological investigations in the terraces, leading to the establishment of community heritage galleries and publication of scientific articles.


Alliance and partnership development
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution
Planning phase
Documentation and dissemination of results

Enabling factors

  • GIAHS designation of the Rice Terraces (2004)
  • The local Ifugao State University is engaged in research and cooperation focused on the rice terraces, agroforestry and biodiversity conservation
  • The Department of Education embarked on a major overhaul of the curriculum where Indigenous knowledge and local Ifugao culture is to be integrated in all levels of K to 12. Research on traditional knowledge was required. 
  • Common challenges with neighboring countries and other Indigenous communities

Lessons learned

  • Involving research in the conservation of the Rice Terraces and the engagement of the youth and the community at large in the endeavor are mutually beneficial (for the research institutes and the local communities)
  • The interface of traditional knowledge learning through community elders and the formal schools through formally trained teachers can be conflicting at times so long-term strategies are to be put in place.
  • Administrative bureaucracy can be difficult for non-government organizations to work with government agencies and universities but patience is the key to success.