Conflict-sensitive resource and asset management

Project description

Title: Conflict-sensitive resource and asset management programme (COSERAM)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Philippines
Lead executing agencies: National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)
Overall term: 2011 to 2018


The Philippines, especially Mindanao in the south, is marked by political and social unrest, often leading to armed violence. The conflict-affected areas possess a wealth of natural resources, including rich mineral deposits, extensive water and wood resources, and high biodiversity. Differing interests surrounding land and resources, as well as monopolistic land ownership and poor governance contribute to the exploitative use of those resources. This in turn poses a major challenge to inclusive development, and the marginalised population (women, young men, and indigenous peoples) often have limited access to natural resources and public services.


In Caraga and other conflict-affected areas, an administration that ensures marginalised population groups have sustainable access to natural resources is contributing to a reduction in violent conflicts.


The GIZ programme provides advisory services to the relevant authorities in order to promote the peaceful and long-term resolution of conflicts over land use and land rights, and to support marginalised people in gaining lawful access to natural resources. To reach its target groups, the programme promotes dialogue at all levels between the different interest groups, thereby assisting them to reach agreements. To secure the basic information for its planning and management it is carrying out participatory peace and conflict assessments in Caraga and other areas.

So far, GIZ has been working with its partners to further develop existing government processes for the peaceful resolution of violent conflicts. These improvements have been integrated into national policies or published in guides for replication. The innovations are now being scaled up and replicated by the partners.


Five core processes build on the results already achieved:

  1. Access to legal services
    Seven lawyers and 20 law students support institutions at the basic administrative level of the ‘barangay’ in addressing resource-use conflicts. Twelve barangays now undertake proper monitoring of the legal and paralegal aid services of the local mediation boards

  2. Conflict-sensitive land use planning
    Some 17 agreements have been drawn up regarding the management of conflict-sensitive natural resources, with a coverage of 330,000 hectares. Five authorities now promote conflict-sensitive land use plans. These have been developed in 24 municipalities, 31 barangays and two ancestral domains. Meanwhile, 25 quick impact measures implemented by government agencies have helped raise the level of trust in state services at the community level.

    Guides have been produced on the following topics:
    • Integration of indigenous people’s rights in planning processes
    • Inclusive co-management of forest lands and open access areas
    • Selection criteria for responsible investments in forest lands
    • Conflict-sensitive land use planning tools for local governments
    • How government agencies can (re-)enter communities in conflict-affected areas

  3. Land titling and planning in ancestral domains
    Two government agencies have taken up the programme’s policy recommendation to address conflicts related to overlapping claims in ancestral domains. Twelve local authorities within ancestral domains are now implementing plans, while are further 11 are in progress.

    Guides have been produced on the following topics:

    • How can local governments plan together with indigenous people in ancestral domains?
    • How can local governments provide financial and technical support for the acceptance of land titles in ancestral domains?
    • Formulating sustainable development and protection plans in ancestral domains
    • Data collection for ancestral domain titling and planning

  4. Management of overlapping protected areas and ancestral domains
    Two provinces and their peace and security bodies have identified peace-building and development needs for Caraga. Based on this, a roadmap for peaceful development has been produced. Nine municipalities now take these needs into consideration in their plans. Guides have been produced for the inclusion of peace-building and development needs in the local planning and peace agenda.

  5. Peace-building needs in development planning
    Indigenous people have become involved in the management of the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary. Supported by government agencies, 25 indigenous researchers have documented the practices of the local Manobo people.


Further information