Now on its midterm implementation, USAID’s Protect Wildlife project is preparing for more opportunities to expand applications of improved and integrated conservation practices to more sites and more partners in the Philippines.
At the recent project steering committee meeting with national and regional partners from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Protect Wildlife shared results of field assessment of its fourth and newest site in Central Luzon. The site includes focal areas of interests, such as Aurora Memorial National Park and Mingan Mountains that straddle the Sierra Madre mountain range border of Aurora and Nueva Ecija provinces. Protect Wildlife aims to work with partners in the region to improve forest and protected area management and boost enforcement of forestry and wildlife laws in one of the last strongholds of intact closed canopy forests and the endangered Philippine eagle in Sierra Madre.
The participants agreed on a resolution to create ad hoc technical working groups for enhancing current DENR guidelines for planning and harmonizing land and resource use plans of various ecosystems with comprehensive land use plans. Another resolution was passed to create a specific technical working group in charge of preparing an integrated enforcement manual for natural resources management that would harmonize different environmental law enforcement manuals.
Finally, Protect Wildlife reaffirmed its commitment to carry out USAID-Philippines’ continued technical assistance to the Forest Management Bureau to improve forest protection. The package of assistance includes implementation of the Lawin technology, drone mapping, coordination of U.S. Forest Service activities in the Philippines, and pursuit of payment for ecosystem services opportunities. (PWP/ Lawrence San Diego)