Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Upland and Lowland

by Antonio C. Antonio
June 27, 2013

QUESTION:  It is very difficult to search the internet about "upland governance," so some use "forest governance" instead.  But why use the term “upland”?  The common understanding of this term refers to public lands in the Philippines which may or may not be forested.  In this context, define or describe what an upland is using the following guide:

·         Define or describe upland geomorphologically.
·         What is and what is not an upland in Philippine context?
·         Is upland synonymous to public land and why?
·         Under whose jurisdiction should the public land be and why?
·         Should upland cities like Baguio and Tagaytay be included in that jurisdiction?
·         What is public land, and describe the Regalian doctrine that governs its ownership?


“Upland,” as opposed to “lowland,” is generally considered to be land that is at higher elevation than rivers on the lowland.  Uplands are commonly forested but widely isolated areas inhabited by patches of communities of indigenous peoples.  The weather in upland areas are generally cold while hot and humid typifies the weather in the lowland.

Upland has become synonymous to public land on account of it being remote and isolated where only a few people prefer to live.  It is normally far from the business and livelihood centers where people could be gainfully employed. 

The isolated nature of upland areas, another distinctive characteristic has developed… the lack of governance structure.  Cities like Baguio and Tagaytay are highly urbanized areas and have a functional government system… this makes them fairly different upland areas in the context of economic development.

The Regalian Doctrine refers to royal rights or the rights to which Kings and Queens have.  This is more often the situation that is created in places previously colonized by a more powerful nation.  The Theory of Jure Regalia is nothing more than the natural fruit of conquest.

These information should differentiate upland and lowland.

Just my little thoughts…

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