Photography > Aetas in Conservation

The Aeta people are an indigenous group located on the island of Luzon. Their culture is thought to have descended from the original inhabitants of the Philippines, who arrived some 30,000 years ago. Over such a long period of time, it's clear that the Aeta culture has evolved closely with the native forests of the Philippines. The amount of knowledge about Philippine forests is preserved in their culture, communicated through their language, and dependent on the ownership and continued interaction with their ancestral land. Today, their culture, language, and land are vulnerable to assimilation through Western/national languages/cultures and urbanization/deforestation. Often these lifestyle and value shifts lead to extreme poverty amongst the Aeta people, as they are pushed from their ancestral lands into towns and cities. Some Aetas, however, are working with researchers and conservationists in the country to help study and protect their lands. This relationship is not only imperative for environmental conservation in the country, but it is also a way to put value back into the Aeta traditional knowledge and culture. This is an ongoing gallery about this amazing mutual relationship and the people involved.