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Govt sets aside $17M for biodiversity policy

Published on 22 November 2012 [ manilatimes.net ]
Written by James Konstantin Galvez Reporter

The government will be spending over $17 million to beef up existing policy and environmental efforts crucial to the protection of the country’s natural resources, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Wednesday.

In an interview on the sidelines of the Biodiversity Partnership Project (BPP), Theresa Mundita Lim, DENR-Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) director, said that the Philippines is well underway to achieve a resource mobilization, that would ensure the fulfillment of one of the top global priorities in the aspect of biodiversity conservation and protection.

The BPP is a partnership among the national and local governments, non-government organizations (NGOs), local communities and indigenous peoples, funded by the United Nations Development Programme-Global Environment Fund (UNDP-GEF). The DENR-PAWB is the implementing agency.

Under the multi-sectoral partnership, the UNDP-GEF will be spending some $4.8 million, while the Philippine government will shell out $10.2 million as counterpart funding, and the remaining $1.9 million will be coming from various NGOs and other partners.

“The program will be implemented for the next six years with a total funding of $17.022 million,” Lim said.

The PAWB director said that the program might be extended after December 2016, citing delays in its implementation from the rigorous process with the release of the funding.

Among those who attended the launching were Vice President Jejomar Binay, UNDP Country Director Toshihiro Tanaka, Gov. Junie Cua of Quirino along with six mayors of the province, officials and representatives of partner agencies and organizations.

The BPP aims to demonstrate how local government units (LGUs) can plan and manage economic activities and growth, in ways that meet landscape-level biodiversity conservation and sustainable use objectives in critical regions.

“These will be achieved through partnerships with key national government agencies, local conservation and NGOs that would muster their resources and expertise to address key issues in creating sustainable and impactful measures to safeguard the country’s rice biodiversity areas,” Lim said.

He added that the BPP was created to enable LGUs to build their knowledge and capacity in biodiversity impact assessment – including the integration of biodiversity conservation in the local land use and development planning, and enforcement of wildlife trade regulations to end poaching and trading of endangered or critical species.

As its main project sites, BPP would focus on Regions 2, 4B, 6, 10, 11 and 13; and in the provinces of Cagayan, Quirino, Mindoro, Palawan, Antique, Capiz, Aklan, Negros Occidental, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Davao Oriental.

Lim said that these pilot sites will showcase the benefits of mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in various aspects of local development planning, policy making, promotion of biodiversity friendly agriculture and business opportunities, as well as the generation and manage of data needed for decision making.
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