2-day culture, peace and development forum to reel off in Northern Mindanao

June 28, 2010 10:21 pm 

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, June 27 – A two-day forum on culture, peace and development is slated in Northern Mindanao at a downtown hotel and convention center here next week.

Organized by the Australian Agency for International Development-Philippine-Australia Community Assistance Program (AusAID-PACAP), the two-day forum is dubbed as “Kapayapaan at Pagkakaisa sa Gitna ng Pagkakaiba” (Peace and Unity Amidst Diversity) set on July 1 and 2 in this city.

Lourdes Marina Padilla, program coordinator and Ninosa Alipon-Nuque, development communications officer of PACAP, said participants of the culture, peace and development forum are officials from the AUSAID, NCIP and PACAP partners from non-government organizations (NGOs), people's organizations (POs) and community service organizations (CSOs).

Objective of the forum is to inform the stakeholders on future programs of the AusAID-PACAP for Mindanao, sharing its experience in advancing peace and development agenda, celebrating cultural diversity and intercultural solidarity, Padilla and Nugue said.

Other specific objectives in the forum are sharing of experiences and good practices in doing peace and development efforts and celebrating cultural diversity and intercultural solidarity thru case study presentations, disseminating these lessons and successes thru a forum, providing a venue to facilitate networking and coordination among PACAP partners to further advocacy work for peace and Indigenous People’s rights, and interactive sharing on the present and emerging challenges in peace and development, cultural diversity and inclusive development, they added.

Some of the speakers during the two-day forum are David Swete Kelly, program director of PACAP; Patricia Georgina Domingo, AusAID official; Karen Tanada, Gaston Z. Ortigas, Peace Institute Official and Rep. Risa Hontiveros.

Since 1986, the AusAIDP has touched the lives of millions of marginalized Filipinos through the PACAP. This present phase of PACAP (2005-2010) has assisted 488 projects benefiting around 329,000 marginalized Filipinos (64 percent women) in partnership with 281 civil society partner organizations.

Projects supported by PACAP have sought to introduce innovative development approaches that uplift the social and economic conditions of marginalized communities.

Peace and Development and the Indigenous People (IP), AusAID has supported community-based peace and development initiatives in conflict affected areas during this present phase of PACAP. At least 33 projects have been implemented in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). These projects directly address Australian Aid development pillar on National Stability and Human Security and contribute to the wider effort to bring peace in Mindanao.

As part of peace and development initiatives, PACAP has promoted inclusive development by supporting projects aimed at integrating the marginalized sectors into the mainstream of Philippine society—among which are the Indigenous Peoples (IPs).

Like the Peace Agenda in Mindanao, PACAP has a lot to tell in terms of experiences and lessons learnt from more than 10 IP projects which PACAP supported in the last five years. The discussion of peace in Mindanao is closely interrelated to the issues of the indigenous people particularly on the ancestral domain and on the need for interfaith dialogues and the indigenous culture, added Padilla and Nugue. (PNA)

LAP/MUC/utb

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