Joint NSC-RSCs meeting focus on cooperation’s sustainability

DAVAO City, PH, November 27 — To ensure the sustainability of the cooperation as well as to identify possibilities and challenges for COSERAM’s last year of implementation in 2018, members of the programme’s National Steering Committee (NSC) and Regional Steering Committees (RSCs) held a joint meeting that was chaired by Usec. Rolando G. Tungpalan of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Members of the COSERAM National Steering Committee (L-R) Mr. Edwin Domingo, DENR-FASPO; ASec Rolly Asuncion (OPAPP); USec Rolando G. Tungpalan, (NEDA) Co-Chair of the NSC; Mr. Peter Hauschnik (Principal Advisor, COSERAM); and Atty Leonor Oralde-Quintayo, Chair, NCIP, discussing with members of the Regional Steering Committees of Caraga, Davao and Northern Mindanao the sustainability of the activities supported by the program in the three focal regions. (Photo by JB Busque/NEDA-11)

The Conflict Sensitive Resource and Asset Management Program (COSERAM) that is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in partnership with the Philippine government since 2011 will end by end December 2018 after seven years.

Barangay Chairman Jun Morales of Kapatagan, Digos City discussing the village’s issues an concerns with members of the JSC during the learning visit to Kapatagan. (Photo by Rudolph Elmo dela Cruz)

Discussions of the joint NSC-RSCs meeting focused on the joint management and cooperation in terms of program achievements in the focal regions of 10 (Northern Mindanao), 11 (Davao Region), and 13 (Caraga Region).

Highlighting the meeting was the learning visit to Barangay Kapatagan, Digos City, Davao del Sur by the members of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC), which feed into the discussion of the meeting at the NEDA-11 office conference hall.

During the learning visit, the three region’s representatives from NEDA, DILG, OPAPP, DENR, MinDA and NCIP as well as their counterparts from these agencies’ national offices, discussed with officials of Kapatagan, led by Barangay Chairman Santiago Morales Jr., the issues, concerns and challenges in Mt. Apo, especially the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP) and how this interfaces with Digos City’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) and/or Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP).

PENRO/MANP PASu of Region 11, Pablito Ofrecia (R foreground) with COSERAM Principal Advisor Peter Hauschnik (L foreground) during the visit to the DENR-11 PASu Office in Barangay Kapatagan, Digos City. Also in photo are Margelaine Arguillas, chief of PAMBCS, DENR-11 (L background); NEDA-11 Regional Director Lourdes Lim (2L background); and Ike Herrera, PFPD, NEDA-11 (R background). (Photo by Rudolph Elmo dela Cruz)

They also visited the Mt. Apo Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) office and admired the nursery for endemic tree species and enjoyed the beautiful view of the country’s highest peak.

During the joint NSC-RSCs meeting, every region was given the opportunity to present their sustainability plan, which also identified areas where close cooperation with other regions and/or the national level is needed. Region 11, for example, expressed the need for convergence in the planning processes and stronger coherence in policy enforcement to ensure that COSERAM’s processes and mechanisms are sustained beyond 2018.

MANP Deputy PASu of DENR-11, Franklyn Buanaflor (R) discussing with COSERAM Principal Advisor Peter Hauschnik (L) the “bio-fencing” project in the MANP SPZ and MUZ at the endemic tree species nursery of the PASu Office during the learning visit of members of the COSERAM JSC. (Photo by Rudolph Elmo dela Cruz)

Mt. Apo straddles the cities of Davao, Digos and Kidapawan and the four municipalities of Bansalan, Sta. Cruz, Makilala, and Magpet, all within the regions of Davao and SOCCSKSARGEN. It is considered the center of endemism in Mindanao while several tribes like the Manobos, Bagobos and Kata consider Mt. Apo as a sacred mountain and burial ground of their common ancestor Apo Sandawa.

Mt. Apo is included in the UN List of National Parks and Equivalent Reserves and acknowledged as an ASEAN Heritage Site. A Key Biodiversity Area, it is home to over 272 bird species, 111 of which are endemic. The mountain is also home to one of the world’s largest eagles, the critically-endangered Philippine Eagle or monkey-eating eagle. Mt. Apo was declared a Protected Area under Republic Act 9237 on February 3, 2004. (With Jesus Villardo III)

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