|Drivers of the process||Indigenous People Organizations, NCIP, civil society organizations|
|Target Group||Indigenous People of the Caraga Region, officials and employees of LGUs, representatives of the private sector|
This Activity Cluster of the COSERAM program aims at strengthening the understanding and dialogue of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and other stakeholders on IPRA, Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC), the Mining Act and other important legal regulations affecting access to natural resources.
Indigenous Cultural Communities in Caraga interact with a variety of stakeholders. Many of them have an interest to utilize natural resources in their ancestral domains. The required Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as a means of a participatory and conflict-sensitive planning is often not followed. In many cases, it may even be abused to the disadvantage of the IP communities, which are also often internally divided. The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997 and the Mining Act of 1995 are not available in native languages. Adequate information and education material on these laws and regulations does not exist. Also, awareness and understanding of these legal regulations within Local Government Units (LGUs) needs to be increased.
Following a human rights based approach COSERAM addresses the issue from two perspectives, considering the needs of both, the right holders and the duty bearers. On the one hand, it aims at empowering IPs in knowing and claiming their rights. It is envisaged to strengthen their negotiation capacities regarding the use of natural resources by public or private investors within their Ancestral Domain. For that purpose, COSERAM supports collection and development of documents and educative materials regarding IPRA. This entails a proper translation of relevant information into the languages of IPs and their distribution. Additionally, the access to legal and paralegal aid services for IPs shall be promoted. On the other hand, national line agencies, LGUs and the private sector will be assisted in their efforts to understand and respect the IPs’ rights. To this end, COSERAM assists those agencies to clarify their responsibilities to ensure a coordinated and well-managed governmental response. This includes the mandatory representation of IPs in governmental structures of LGUs.
A current assessment on conducted FPICs will lead to the enhancement of the respective national guidelines and processes of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). The results shall also be used as basis for constructive dialogue amongst the different stakeholders.
The suggested outputs and processes are fundamental for the whole Caraga region and beyond. The national line agencies can use them for their work in other parts of thePhilippines where IPs live.
More IPs in Caraga region know and claim their rights
- Adequate materials on IPRA, FPIC and the Mining Act are translated and disseminated
- IPs increasingly access legal and paralegal advice and services
- The national FPIC guidelines and processes are enhanced
Public and private sector is better informed on Indigenous Peoples’ rights
- Roles and responsibilities are clarified
- Dialogue amongst the different stakeholders is institutionalized