UN-Habitat equips BARMM for spatial development framework under SHIELD Program

Through the Strengthening Institutions and Empowering Localities Against Disasters and Climate Change (SHIELD) Program, UN-Habitat Philippines conducted a technical workshop for the formulation of the Bangsamoro Spatial Development Framework (BSDF) 2024-2050, held on June 21-23 in Cotabato City.

Spearheaded together with the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA) and the Regional Land Use Committee (RLUC), the workshop was participated by around fifty-five technical staff and officers from various ministries, offices, and agencies in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

BSDF 2024-2050, a priority policy document, serves as a comprehensive strategy designed to support and strengthen the long-term spatial development in BARMM and ensuring that communities have access to basic services and development opportunities. The BSDF is also envisioned to protect and preserve the region’s bountiful natural resources and rich cultural diversity, enhance social inclusion, integrate climate and disaster resilience, and promote long-lasting peace. Aligned with the 2nd Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP) and Bangsamoro Convergence Framework for Community Resilience (CoRE), the policy framework formulation will entail technical and participatory processes. Through BPDA, the BSDF is expected to be completed by December 2023.

“This plan is expected to set the long-term direction for the region to ensure sustainable and integrated spatial development considering its alignment with the Mindanao Spatial Strategy Development Framework, Mindanao Development Corridor, and the National Physical Framework Plan,” said Engr. Amil J. Abubakar, BPDA Deputy Director General, during the first day of the workshop.*

The development of BSDF is just one of the key outputs of SHIELD, a program supported by the Australian Government that aims to expedite disaster and climate resilience-building efforts in key Philippine provinces and regions through collaborative partnerships, risk-based planning, value-chain improvement, and business continuity.

SHIELD is implemented by UNDP Philippines together with its consortium partners, UN-Habitat, Philippine Business for Social Progress, National Resilience Council, and the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society, with the Department of the Interior and Local Government Philippines as the lead government agency. UN-Habitat leads the efforts in working with provinces in preparing risk and resilience-informed plans, investment programs, finance access, and technical support to sub-national and local government units in harmonizing procedures and requirements for local resilience planning. Learnings on the ground are processed and vetted with stakeholders and key government agencies to inform policy development and enhancement.

Looking to establish steps for the BSDF formulation, the three-day activity in BARMM aimed to review and enhance the initial data analysis of BPDA and understand BARMM’s spatial development patterns and growth trends. The UN-Habitat capitalizes on its home-grown tools and global expertise in regional spatial planning and has applied the “Matrix of Functions” and “Spatial Multi-Criteria Evaluation” during the workshop.

In the activity, UN-Habitat Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator for Climate Change and Urban Environment Laids Cea shared her technical inputs on spatial data analysis with the use of a matrix of functions and integration of climate and disaster risk parameters. Cea also facilitated the session on Spatial Multi-Criteria Evaluation, a spatial planning tool that helps planners and decision-makers to evaluate, compare, and prioritize spatial alternatives by understanding the advantage of an area or location against its key policies and strategies.

The three-day workshop ended with an action planning session for the next activities concerning the BSDF formulation, including internal sectoral meetings, data gathering, and analysis prior to the next spatial planning workshop.

BPDA and UN-Habitat are expected to work closely to facilitate the next phases of BSDF formulation, including spatial profiling, strategic planning, writing and crafting of the framework, and final approval of BARMM officials. These phases will include various activities like expert group meetings, stakeholder consultations, workshops, mapping, and mentoring sessions.

*with report from Mary Lovella Lao-Lastimosa (BPDA-BARMM)

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