Conflict-sensitivity in implementing JAO 2012-01 highlights strategic workshop

DAVAO City, PH, July 24-28 — “One good practice in conflict sensitivity is acknowledging one’s role in creating or exacerbating the conflict.” Thus summarizes one participant to the Strategic Planning workshop of the members of the Joint Regional Committee on the Joint DAR-DENR-LRA-NCIP Administrative Order No. 01 Series of 2012 in the Davao Region (Region 11).

JAO 01 Series of 2012, signed on 25 January 2012 by then Secretaries Virgilio delos Reyes of  the Department of Agrarian Reform, Ramon Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Zenaida Pawid of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, and Administrator Eulalio Diaz of the Land Registration Authority, enjoins the above-mentioned government agencies to properly and effectively “handle” the “coverage of lands and/or processing by DAR, DENR, and NCIP and registration with LRA of land titles embracing lands or areas which are contentious or potentially contentious.”

A DENR staff present before the plenary the output of his break-away session group for critiquing, etc. (Photo by BONG D. FABE)

In setting their Strategic Plan, the participants to the workshop adopted eight (8) Key Components, which are (1) Policies harmonized; (2) Contentious issues jointly resolved; (3) Cultural sensitivity enhanced; (4) Effective external stakeholder engagement; (5) Conflict sensitivity internalized; (6) Fully functional JAO structure; (7) Shared understanding of each agency’s core processes; and (8) Increased transparency.

Key Component No. 4 was not originally included but added later in the discussion. “We have to add a component on the external stakeholders since they play an important role,” explained one participant. “Effective external stakeholder engagement is part of conflict sensitivity,” added another, while still another surmised that “effective external stakeholder engagement is about how we can effectively deal with other stakeholders.”

While acknowledging that their different agencies have different vision, mission and goal (VMG) and targets, which translate to their respective staffs’ “different understanding and perception of things”, the participants bowed to the wisdom of the JAO “as a means for us to walk hand-in-hand with each other.”

LRA personnel during the break-away session. (Photo by BONG D. FABE)

“If we walk together, we might still see different things differently but we will have the opportunity to think together about the best strategy to address our concerns,” one pragmatic participant said in reflection session at the end of the workshop.

The Strategic Planning workshop on July 24-28 at the Malagos Garden Resort in Davao City started with an orientation on Conflict Sensitivity and Do No Harm by Arthur Casiño, COSERAM Advisor on Conflict Sensitivity-Governance. The workshop was done under the COSERAM core process Legal Aid and Paralegal Services, Rights Awareness and Conflict Transformation Mechanisms. It was ably moderated by Consultant Carmela Ariza and facilitated by Atty. Jesus Villardo III, part of the COSERAM Regional Tandem for Region 11 and senior advisor for LAPSRA.

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