Conference on Best Practices

in Resource Use and Land Tenure Conflicts in the Philippines

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MedNet is proud to publish The Mediator to celebrate the successful conduct of the Conference on Best Mediation Practices in Resource Use and Land Tenure Conflicts in the Philippines at the Traders Hotel Manila, on 27-29 April 2005. The Conference was testimony to the rising popularity and importance of community mediation in particular, and peace-building processes in general, in the Philippines. The lessons learned, the partnerships forged, the strategies identified, and the plans drawn from the stories shared in that singular event all told us that we are all packed-up and ready to push this journey a hundred kilometers farther.

This newsmagazine is intended to chronicle that event, thus, guide us in our brave voyage towards mainstreaming EDRMP in Philippine society. It records the significant speeches, presentations and activities in the Conference in a reader-friendly package. We hope that this will allow for painless ingestion of the important lessons surface in that event. The 50 or so participants from government and civil society groups were fortunate to have two Cabinet secretaries keynoting the event: Sec. Ging Deles in the opening, and Sec. Dinky Soliman at the end.

Moreover, other government offices, funding agencies and civil society organizations were present to express their unwavering support and commitment to the use of mediation as an instrument for the attainment of sustainable peace and development in our country. The case presentation in break-out panels was a significant highlight of the Conference and is, thus, given much importance here. All the papers, including the two foreign cases presented in the plenary, were abstracted by our contributing writers to allow you to recall each of them with ease. The synthesis of the conference, the lessons culled from the cases, and the anticipated challenges ahead cap the Conference articles.

In addition, we have included useful information about the activities and services of MedNet. This is in response to the clamor from concerned members for constant updates. As we thank USAid and the Asia Foundation Miserior, and the Foundation for the Philippine Environment for helping make the Conference and this issue possible, we also express our hope to find more financial support so that we may be able to issue this newsmagazine regularly.

That said, we wish you all pleasant reading. Mabuhay and EDRMP! Mabuhay ang MedNet! Mabuhay tayong lahat!

A MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

by: Rodolfo Ferdinand N. Quicho Jr.