The Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has partnered with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Zoological Society of London (ZSL) for the implementation of the "Sustainable Coastal Protection through Biodiversity Conservation in Coastal Ecosystems Affected by Typhoons in the Philippines" or ProCoast Project. An inception workshop was conducted on February 5-6, 2019 in Iloilo City to validate the project activities, scope available resources, and identify areas of collaboration among partners. Project partners visited two of the identified centers of learning (CoLs) – the Leganes Mangrove Ecopark in Iloilo, and the Taklong Island National Marine Reserve in Guimaras – for them to observe the good practices featured in these centers and to interact with the communities and managers of the protected areas.
The project is implemented in three years and covers Western and Central Visayas regions. It is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) to improve the protection of coastal communities from the effects of climate change.
Complementing BMB’s Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP 2018-2028), the project supports programs and activities identified under BMB’s convergence initiatives, such as the following:
- Technical and policy inputs in the reversion of abandoned, underutilized and undeveloped (AUU) brackish fishponds to mangrove forests;
- Research and survey of mangrove, beach forest, seagrass and coral reef ecosystems;
- Establishment of additional Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the country; and
- Technical and policy support to climate change adaptation, mitigation and biodiversity conservation.
Project activities comprise three work packages: a) Policy advice and capacity development; b) Dissemination of good practices through the Centers of Learning; and c) Knowledge management and awareness raising.
Tested approaches, good practices, tools, methods and instruments developed through the implementation of the Adaptation to Climate Change in Coastal Areas (IKI BMU ACCCOAST, 2011 – 2013) and ZSL’s mangrove rehabilitation and marine protected area management projects in the region, will be adopted in centers of learning (CoLs).
An inter-agency steering committee has been created for the project and is headed by DENR Assistant Secretary for Staff Bureaus Ricardo Calderon. (GIZ/ Franca Sprong, Raquel J. Capio)