This study has been conducted in the Caraga region of northeast Mindanao, in order to better understand the interlinkages between coherent planning and conflict and to explore the possibilities and limitations of coherence approaches in conflict-sensitive settings. Despite the multi-dimensional nature of the conflict in the Caraga region, the underlying causes are related to issues of land claims in areas of ancestral domains and forest lands, particularly in relation to the extraction of timber and mineral resources. The paper analyses to what extent Local Government Units (LGUs) integrate issues of conflict and insecurity into development, DRR and climate adaptation planning processes.
The study finds that there is widespread awareness of the negative impact of armed conflict in the Caraga region, with recognition that conflict, poverty, development and disasters are linked. Particular in conflict-prone environments, there is consensus that conflict-sensitive planning could be beneficial in increasing the effectiveness of planning interventions. The main opportunity to strengthen coherence and unlock the benefits of more conflict-sensitive planning appear to lie in making improvements to existing planning tools, notably the Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment as developed by national government entities. This could be undertaken in support of existing planning processes without the need for changes in policies or legislation.
The report concludes with ten policy recommendations, such as:
- Commitment and support (memorandum circular) from DILG to modify the CDRA into a more holistic systemic risk assessment tool.
- Develop and pilot multi-risk assessment tool in selected conflict-affected provinces to inform local planning processes, e.g. to encompass natural and human-induced hazard.
- Promote localized collaborative and participatory planning processes in support of the sustainable management of common resources such as lakes, rivers, watershed, biodiversity corridors, etc. that provide essential eco-system services in the absorption and regulating of extreme hazards.