From January 2011 until December 2014, the ‘Conflict Sensitive Resource and Asset Management’ (COSERAM) Program has supported an integrated approach of poverty reduction and peace building in the region of Caraga. A participatory community peace and conflict analysis conducted in September and October 2009 in selected areas of Caraga by organizations of the German Development Cooperation in close cooperation with NEDA 13, DILG 13, OPAPP, DENR-MGB, AFP, PNP, CHR 13, NCIP 13, the Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD) and the Butuan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) identified five major peace building needs for the Caraga region:
- Clarification and delineation of land tenure and land uses;
- Regulation and enforcement of issues on access and use of land and other natural resources;
- Management and utilization of natural resources;
- Human security, including local conflict transformation and improved livelihoods; and,
- Access to public services.
The program has addressed these needs in selected areas of Caraga, pursuing a synergetic, process-oriented and multi-level approach. The strategic approach was implemented in one or more areas (“Activity Clusters”) on the basis of pre-defined criteria such as:
- An acceptable risk level;
- The existence of an interdependent ecosystem affected by latent or manifest conflict,
- Willingness of stakeholders to jointly address the issues, and
- The availability of line agencies (LAs), NGOs, community-based organizations (CBOs) actively working in the area to partner with.
- The existence of target groups including those affected by conflicts, especially women and Indigenous people;
- Multi-level needs to be addressed on micro, meso and macro level, enabling potential for synergies;
- Direct linkage to identified peace-building needs and/or the six paths to peace, and
- Scarcity of resources and a high level of fragility.
As approved by the Program Steering Committee in April 2011, five Activity Clusters were selected where a variety of technical support activities have been implemented:
Later a second module for technical cooperation has been added to the COSERAM Program: Indigenous Practices for Conservation of Biodiversity, integrating conflict sensitive resource management and biodiversity conservation in the Agusan Marsh, Agusan del Sur.
The COSERAM Program found its administrative closure in December 2014. But with the subsequent commission for a follow-up program by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), COSERAM II will continue to be active in Caraga and other conflict-affected areas in the Philippines until December 2018.