lntegrated Approach to Ancestral Domain Titling and Planning in Agusan del Sur


Drivers of the process Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur, NCIP, concerned Indigenous Cultural Communities, DILG, OPAPP
Target Group Indigenous Peoples in the province, concerned Local Government Units (LGUs), potential investors


This  Activity Cluster of the COSERAM Program seeks to enhance the issuing of titles and the elaboration of development plans for Ancestral Domains of Indigenous Peoples in a fair, conflict and culture sensitive way in order to improve the investment climate in the province Agusan del Sur.


The region of Caraga in Mindanao is home to an estimated 500,000 Indigenous Peoples (IPs) who are facing several challenges: degradation of natural resources; economic and political marginalization; overlapping claims to their ancestral domains; armed conflict within their domains between state and non-state actors; as well as inter/intra “tribal” conflicts. Until now, very few titles to Ancestral Domains and even less Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plans (ADSDPPs) have been formally recognized by the State as required by the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997. These processes are often time-consuming, expensive, not conducted in a conflict-sensitive way, as they e.g. divide the IP communities. Interfaces with other development plans are not sufficiently considered.

To ensure land rights of the Indigenous Peoples (Higaonon, Banwaon, and Manobo) in the province, the Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur has committed its technical and financial support to these communities and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). It created a Technical Working Group and provided it with PHP 5,000,000.00 (85.000 EUR) to support the issuance of Ancestral Domain titles.


The TWG renders its assistance to the Provincial  Delineation Team of NCIP for the validation of the claims to Ancestral Domain titles. COSERAM has been invited by the province to enhance the capacities of the TWG to ensure the conflict and culture sensitivity of the process.

Based on lessons learnt from key organizations with experiences on ancestral domain titling, the TWG and the Provincial Delineation Team of NCIP designed the processing of the claims. Additionally, the TWG participates in the joint efforts of GIZ and the International Labour Organization (ILO) to simplify processes to elaborate development plans for the Ancestral Domains and to strengthen the participation of the IPs therein.

The results of these different pilot processes will contribute to an enhancement of the national guidelines of NCIP. This includes defined interfaces with development plans of Local Government Units.

Anticipated Results
Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and ADSDPP processes are conflict and culture sensitive

  • List of identified risks and of essential and non-negotiable steps in Ancestral Domain claims is elaborated
  • Risk mitigation measures are integrated into the claim process

The coherence of ADSDPP and local Comprehensive Development Plans as well as the
capacity of traditional/customary leaders to interact with LGUs is improved.

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