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Indigenous peoples, land and conflict in Mindanao, Philippines
World Bank
2024.02.14
This article explores the links between conflict, land and indigenous peoples in several regions of Mindano, the Philippines, notorious for their levels of poverty and conflict. The analysis takes advantage of the unprecedented concurrence of data from the most recent, 2020, census; an independent conflict data monitor for Mindanao; and administrative sources on ancestral land titling for indigenous peoples in the Philippines. While evidence elsewhere compellingly links land titling with conflict reduction, a more nuanced story emerges in the Philippines. Conflicts, including land- and resource-related conflicts, are generally less likely in districts (barangays) with higher shares of indigenous peoples. Ancestral domain areas also have a lower likelihood for general conflict but a higher likelihood for land-related conflict. Ancestral domains titling does not automatically solve land-related conflicts. When administrative delays take place (from cumbersome bureaucratic processes, insufficient resources and weak institutional capacity), titling processes may lead to sustained, rather than decreased, conflict.