3D Map Steers Mediation of Tribal DisputesPosted on September 18, 2012
After decades of boundary disputes between the Maeng tribe of Tubo and the Balatoc,Belwang and Masadiit tribes of Boliney in Abra, mediation is underway. In May 2011, the tribal communities agreed to jointly construct a three dimensional (3D) map as a visual guide in facilitating discussions between the tribes.
According to the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Chair Zenaida H. Pawid, the 3D map will be used as a tool to steer tribal mediation process in Abra. Thus, “My highest regards for the initiative and for the working together of the inheritors and stewards of the ancestral domain,” she said.
The 3D map will be launched on September 12, 2012 at the NCIP Provincial Office in Bangued, Abra. The elders and Bodong holders or those who are keepers of the history and indigenous knowledge of the tribes will be present during the launch to identify the traditional boundaries. With strong affinity to their land and natural resources, the indigenous peoples consider rivers, forests, mountains, ritual sites, and sacred burial grounds as part of their traditional boundaries and territories. This will strengthen traditional conflict mechanisms where the negotiation is left in the hands of the elders and will maintain the Bodong as integral component of the final settlement.
With the help of Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Jr. of Ifugao, Chair of the House Committee on Cultural Communities, as lead mediator as well as other respected local mediators and support groups, it is hoped that the concerned tribal communities will finally reach an accord towards respect for traditions, rights, boundaries and resource use.
Other support groups who have been instrumental in making the negotiation process possible, such as the Office of the Presidential Adviser for on the Peace Process (OPAPP), NCIP, Philippine Association for Intercultural Development (PAFID) and the Foundation from the Philippine Environment (FPE) will grace the event.
The activity is part of the FPE-PAFID implemented Mainstreaming Indigenous Peoples Participation in Environmental Governance (MIPPEG Project) with the support from the European Union and Fundeso.