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Is the Concept of 'Free and Prior Informed Consent' Effective as a Legal and Governance Tool to Ensure Equity among Indigenous Peoples? A Case Study on the Experience of the Tagbanua on Free Prior Informed Consent, Coron Island, Palawan, Philippines

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Mayo-Anda, Grizelda; Cagatulla, Loreto L.; Vina, Antonio G. M. La.
Conference: Survival of the Commons: Mounting Challenges and New Realities, the Eleventh Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Conf. Date: June 19-23, 2006
Date: 2006
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/2204
Sector: Social Organization
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
indigenous institutions
governance and politics
decision making
conflict resolution
Abstract: "This paper looks into the experience of the Tagbanua indigenous community of Coron Island, Palawan, Philippines on the application of the concept of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). The study area focused on the two Tagbanua communities in Coron Island - Barangays Banuang Daan and Cabugao. Coron Island is home to the seafaring Tagbanua tribes and has been identified as one of the country's important areas for biodiversity.. The Tagbanua community has managed to secure their tenure on the island and its surrounding waters through the issuance and recognition by the government of an ancestral domain title, one of the first examples of its kind in the Philippines. The study concludes that the exercise of Free Prior and Informed Consent by the Tagbanua community is an important and fundamental tool to ensure that the indigenous peoples will benefit from the resources within their ancestral territory. Among others, it has given them a new tool to protect their environment and to obtain an equitable share of the economic benefits of their natural resources. The study also shows that the exercise of Free Prior and Informed Consent by the Tagbanua communities of Barangays Banuang Daan and Cabugao was recognized by government and non- government stakeholders, although in varying degrees. The study also notes the need to strengthen the overall capacity of the Tagbanua organization in terms of resource management as this would be critical to attaining an equitable distribution of benefits among community members. Finally, the study describes the Tagbanua community's continuing struggle to gain sympathy from the local government units and from other stakeholders in Coron and to confront and constructively interact with major development issues obtaining in its domain such as the development of tourism in the area affecting Coron Island."

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