By Wilfried Gebhardt, GIZ-NEDA Caraga
On 20 February, 2013 a Partner Forum, facilitated and sponsored by the GIZ through the Philippine – German Conflict Sensitive Resource & Asset Management (COSERAM) Program and the Civil Peace Service (CPS) Program was held at Pietro’s Square, Butuan City.
COSERAM officially started within the Caraga Region in January 2011, headed by the GIZ COSERAM Principal Advisor, Dr. Stephanie Schell-Faucon and steered by a national and regional program steering committee of Philippine government agencies NEDA, DILG, DENR, OPAPP and NCIP. The program has now reached the half-way point of its first phase. For the past two years, activities have been implemented to jointly achieve the program’s overall objective: “To improve governance of natural resources in Caraga in a peaceful and sustainable manner, benefitting the communities”.
With two more years to go for the program, the COSERAM team felt it a momentous occasion for all partners of COSERAM and Civil Peace Service (CPS) in the Caraga Region, to come together and jointly reflect on past achievements and on identifying the common cooperation for the years to come.
COSERAM invited partners from all the Activity Clusters/TC modules of all parts of Caraga region, CSO, Academe LGUs and Line agencies from various activity fields of the program covering different parts of Caraga Region. National partners and all Steering Committee members were also invited.
Key highlight of the forum was a discussion on further cooperation towards the achievement of the conflict sensitive protection / utilization of the natural resources within the Caraga Region. Involved in the discussion were DENR-FASPO Dir. Edwin Domingo, Carmencita Cochingco (NEDA), Lilibeth Famacion (DILG), and GIZ Regional Director, Robert Kressirer.
The activity clusters of GIZ COSERAM are:
1. Peaceful and sustainable Ridge to Reef Approach, Surigao del Norte
2.Harmonized conflict sensitive planning, Surigao del Sur
3.Co-Management in conflict prone areas, Butuan City/Agusan del Norte
4.Integrated Approach to Ancestral Domain Titling and Planning, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur
5.Supporting IP related rights and regulations affecting the use of natural resources
Additionally, a new module of the program—which started in October 2012, focuses on Indigenous practices for conservation of Biodiversity.
Participants of the forum had an opportunity to assess their partnership, to learn about the variety of activities of COSERAM and CPS, to review the achievements on the potentials and mechanisms, and to replicate and up-scale good practices.
The GIZ-team extended their appreciation to their Philippine partners for their continuous and devoted contribution and cooperation with the Philippine-German COSERAM- and CPS- Program in Caraga.