Guide to Community Entry in Conflict-affected Areas

The Conflict Sensitive Resource and Asset Management (COSERAM) Program, a German-
Philippine development cooperation project, supports an integrated approach to poverty reduction
and peace building in the Caraga Region in southern Philippines. COSERAM is jointly supported
by the Philippine and German Governments and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in coordination with various Philippine government agencies, local government units (LGUs), and civil society organizations.

After the first four years (2010 to 2014) of COSERAM’s engagement of LGUs and other stakeholders in the Caraga Region in Mindanao, Philippines, substantive lessons can be drawn from its work in planting the seeds of peaceful and sustainable resource governance with marginalized populations in conflictaffected areas in the region. As the program shifted gears in 2015-2018 towards more strategic and broader application of its organizational wisdom and exemplary practices, its partners found value in documenting the approaches and processes that have been proven to work in specific areas supported by COSERAM since its initial implementation.

Butuan City is implementing an integrated land use and development planning system, referred
to as the Sustainable Integrated Management and Planning of LGU Ecosystems. The city is categorized as a conflict-affected area by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), due to the presence of various issues therein, ranging from political instability to overlapping tenurial claims and illegal activities, that contribute to the degradation of natural resources in the area.

Cognizant of the power dynamics that impact on development or any kind of cooperation in
such conflict-affected areas, lessons from efforts to ‘do no harm’ and ensure the participation of
stakeholders need to be harnessed for future similar initiatives wherein LGUs need to engage in
conflict-affected areas within their jurisdiction. Of particular interest to LGUs and their responsible
planning and implementation officers is how the strategies and steps in community entry into conflict-affected areas can inform and consequently enhance land use and development plans such as
Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUPs), Forest Land Use Plans (FLUPs), Barangay Development
Plans (BDPs), and ultimately, Comprehensive Development Plans (CDPs), with a trajectory, and
upscale the implementation of the Caraga Road Map for Peace-oriented Development as well as
other projects such as PAMANA or other sectoral development projects and programs.