DENR Secretary Gina Lopez and US Ambassador Sung Kim led the launch of the newest biodiversity conservation project in the country, held at Sequoia Hotel in Quezon City on March 6.

The event, co-organized by the USAID and the DENR's Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), was part of the World Wildlife Day celebration on March 3.

Amb. Kim said that the project was part of the continuing collaboration between the two governments, along with the private sector, civil society, and individual communities to strengthen natural and environmental resource management in the country.

“It will demonstrate that protecting and managing the Philippines’ diverse habitats and species lead to improved quality of life and sustainable development,” he said.

“’Protect wildlife’ is not only the name of our project. It is also the imperative for all of us to take care of the species with which we share the planet,” he added.

Lopez lauded the project’s tagline stating, “Conservation is not protecting nature from people. It is protecting nature for people.”

She reiterated that the perspective of the DENR under her leadership was area development, and making sure that the resources, especially its flora and fauna, in an area are enjoyed by the people themselves.

Noting that the species is home to a high level of endemicity, Lopez said that nurturing the country’s endemic species was the country’s contribution to humanity.

“Wildlife is therefore an integral part of developing areas. Taking care of them will give us great ecotourism zones that can help people in the communities and lift them out of poverty,” she stated.

According to BMB Director Theresa Mundita Lim, the Protect Wildlife Project would also focus on improving benefits provided by ecosystems for food, water, livelihood and ecotourism.

"With the Philippines being both one of the world’s most megadiverse countries and a critical biodiversity hotspot, we need to see how we can communicate development programs more effectively so that people will appreciate better the benefits of conservation," Lim said.

Lim said that among the strategies to be used in the project include improving the attitude and behavior of stakeholders toward biodiversity, and intensifying their involvement in conserving and financing biodiversity initiatives.

The project will also enhance the competencies of stakeholders and implementers such as local government units, civil society organizations, the academe, and other government agencies on biodiversity conservation.

Two pilot areas have been selected for the project. These are the Palawan province including Tubbataha Reef, and the Sulu Archipelago including Zamboanga City and Tawi-Tawi province.

The USAID will ensure that the project’s impact is sustained by using an ecosystem approach in addressing threats to biodiversity within the sites. This would enable the local community to have a strong sense of ownership and promptly adapt to lessons they learn from the project.

Lim said the project also highlights the need to fight threats posed by wildlife trafficking, illegal fishing, land use conversion, irresponsible mining, and indifference of stakeholders.

"The more habitats deteriorate and wildlife existence is endangered, the less we benefit from the goods and services that ecosystems provide to sustain human life," Lim pointed out. ### 

DENR press releases and other news/feature articles are posted at the DENR website: www.denr.gov.ph. For queries/comments, write: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

News

DENR recognizes partners on environmental protection, Kicks-off observance of Month of the Planet Earth

tabaoIn observance of April as Month of the Planet Earth, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in region 8 recognizes the contributions of its partners in environmental protection and natural resources conservation.


As a kick-off activity for the month-long celebration, DENR presented a Certificate of Recognition to Barangay Chairman Noel Tabao of of Barangay 69, Anibong, Tacloban City. Chairman Tabao’s invaluable assistance to the rehabilitation of mangrove areas in Leyte through the Leyte Gulf Rehabilitation Project launched after Super Typhoon Yolanda, particularly in the rehabilitation and development of a 12-hectare mangrove area in Bgry. 69 was recognized by the DENR. His assistance in organizing the Greening Initiators and Nature’s Advocate People’s Organization or GINAPO as DENR partner in the establishment, maintenance, and production of seedlings for DENR 8 Central Nursery in Anibong was also cited.

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Photo Releases

DENR Secretary Gina Lopez leads employees of DENR region 8 in an oath to take care of the environment and be better stewards of the earth. Employees also committed to work for integrity, public service, and common good. The oath of commitment was made by the employees during the visit of Secretary Lopez to DENR regional office on January 16, 2016.

DENR 8 Regional Director Leonardo Sibbaluca presents the region’s central nursery and the 12-hectare Leyte Gulf Mangrove Rehabilitation Project site at Brgy. Anibong, Tacloban City to Green Climate Fund (GCF) Director Javier Manazares (seated, 3rd from left) and Demetrio Innocenti (seated, 4th from left). The project implemented in 2014 in the hardest hit provinces of Leyte, Samar, and Eastern Samar by Typhoon Yolanda envisions to restore the lush mangroves in said areas, emphasizing on the crucial role these mangroves play in protecting the coastline, preventing coastal erosion, serving as buffer for tidal currents and storm driven waves, and mitigating the unavoidable impacts of climate change. GCF visited the area for an ocular inspection in response to the request of Secretary Lopez for financial assistance in support to the department’s programs and projects on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Also in photo are (seated L-R) ERDB Director Henry Adornado, ASec Junie Hernandez, Assistant Secretary Evelyn Cruzada of the Performance and Projects Management Office, office of the Cabinet Secretary.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in region 8 recognizes the important role played by indigenous communities in the protection and preservation of the region’s protected areas. In photo is the Mamanwa Indigenous Community in Burauen, Leyte joining this year’s Mahagnao Volcano Natural Park Outdoor Festival held on February 3, coinciding with the declaration of MVNP as a protected area under the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS) Act. The event intends to showcase the natural park as a home to various species of flora and fauna including the Philippine Eagle, and promote the preservation of the rich biodiversity in the area. 

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