Cheered on by several organizations comprising the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Philippine Association for Intercultural Development (PAFID), Katutubo at Samahan ng Pilipinas (KASAPI) and BUKLURAN, the Department of Environment and Natural Resource (DENR), Global Environment Facility (GEF), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), rolled out the Philippine ICCA Project in a ceremony at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center on October 26, 2016.

The project, whose full title is Strengthening National Systems to Improve Governance and Management of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Conserved Areas and Territories, is a government’s strategy to strengthen the conservation, protection and management of the key biodiversity sites through recognition of the ICCA as added support in managing the protected areas.

Director Theresita Mundita Lim of the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) said in her opening message that in the protection of biodiversity, there is a need to recognize the traditions (of the Indigenous peoples.) She further encouraged the attendees to uphold the rights of the Indigenous people and protect their domain.

Among the attendees were Congressman Teodoro Baguilat Jr. who gave the Keynote Address, DENR Assistant Secretary Rommel Abesamis for Foreign Assisted and Special Projects, Resident Representative for UNDP Philippines Mr. Ola Almgreen, Executive Director of Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation Atty. Jose Andres Canivel, Secretary General of KASAPI Mr. Giovanni Reyes, Commissioner of CAR and Region 1 for National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Atty. Basilio Wandag, and representatives of various Indigenous Peoples groups.

The Philippine ICCA Project is being implemented starting this year until 2019 by the Biodiversity Management Bureau. #


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