CARAGA project featured at GAP leadership forum

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Linking thought leadership and investments with urban and rural models for global sustainable development was the underlying theme of the 2016 Global Action Leadership Forum at the World Bank held on 31 October 2016.

The Forum entitled “Scalable, Sustainable Solutions for Abundant Food, Health and Prosperity,” provided an opportunity for a general update on the mission and activities of the Global Action Platform (GAP) and its partners, Indigenous People’s Economic Union (IPEU) and Global Partnership for Sustainable Solutions (GPSS), with respect to its rural solutions project in the Philippine CARAGA Administrative Region in northeastern Mindanao.

The CARAGA project is part of the GAP’s efforts to advance scalable, sustainable solutions for abundant food, health and prosperity in the urban and rural settings around the world.

In the CARAGA project, the GAP, GPSS and IPEU are creating strategic action plans for the development of 1.2 million acres (485,622 hectares) of undeveloped land in the southern Philippines that are covered by the Certificates of Ancestral Domain Title (CADTs) of the various members of the IPEU.

The area is expected to expand from its initial scale to some 5-10 million acres. The project creates an approach to rural development at scale and in a way that can be replicated and used to advance the innovative food solutions to feed the world’s growing population.

Mr. Jose Victor V. Chan-Gonzaga, Minister for Economic Affairs at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C., noted that the CARAGA project fits perfectly into the Philippine government’s economic agenda item on promoting rural and value chain development towards increasing agricultural and rural enterprise productivity, including in rural tourism.
“This project also complements the priorities of an Administration that recognizes the great potential and importance of bringing the opportunities and benefits of a vibrant and dynamic economy to the countryside,” Chan-Gonzaga said.

The panel also discussed specific issues such as the role of universities in these solutions, the importance of stakeholder-mapping to eliminate inefficiencies and duplication, and how to deal with various government agencies and other constituents.

“We are grateful for the growing partnership among all the relevant government agencies in the Philippines, such as the Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples, for the development of a CARAGA CADT Comprehensive Development Plan and an Agricultural – Aquaculture – Agroforestry Training Center for Indigenous Peoples. Together with our partners at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the Philippine Consulate General in New York, we look forward to great collaboration with both the Philippine government and the World Bank for a peaceful, productive, and prosperous CARAGA,” said Bryan Thomas, GPSS CEO and Managing Partner, during his presentation.

For his part, Dr. Scott Masey, GAP Chairman and CEO, said that “as the non-profit partner of the IPEU and GPSS, Global Action Platform has been pleased to showcase our CARAGA Comprehensive Development Project at the United Nations during UNGA week, and now at the World Bank this week. We thank Minister Chan-Gonzaga of the Philippine Embassy for joining us at the Forum in presenting our collaboration to Bank officials and private sector leaders to help advance this important new initiative for the indigenous people and for the Philippines.”

GAP is an international university-business alliance to advance scalable and sustainable solutions to meet the global food and health challenges of a world of ten billion. GPSS brings socially and environmentally responsible companies, institutions, and investors together into emerging markets for scalable, sustainable, shared value development solutions. And the IPEU is the organization of thirty one Lumad (indigenous) Tribes of central and eastern Mindanao in the Philippines.

The Forum was co-sponsored by the GAP and the Agriculture Global Practice of the World Bank Group. It was attended by World Bank executives and officials, as well as external investors and sponsors. Aside from the CARAGA project discussion, there were also presentations from Jean-Claude Saada, Chairman and CEO of Cambridge Holdings, on the oneCITY project in Nashville that is designed as a mindful, healthy living community; and Suparno Banerjee, Vice President of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, on using information technology as a disruptive enabler for social resilience

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