The DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau has set off a pioneering initiative to assist local government units and DENR field offices and local stakeholders in crafting transboundary plans of at least two key biodiversity areas (KBAs) in eight demonstration sites under the Biodiversity Partnerships Project (BPP).
The transboundary plans provide the strategic framework for the management of areas of high biodiversity values such as KBAs that encompass multiple LGUs and ecosystems not covered under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) and other related national or local issuances. The key intention is to respond to the threats of biodiversity loss and fragmentation and at the same time address the requirements for ecosystem services of adjoining and downstream communities.
The BPP, in collaboration with DENR regional offices, LGUs and other stakeholders of Region 2 and CARAGA, is taking the lead in providing technical assistance in the transboundary plan preparation process in Northeastern Cagayan Key Biodiversity Area (NECKBA) which covers the towns of Baggao, Buguey, Gonzaga, Gattaran, Lal-lo and Sta. Teresita. NECKBA is home to a variety of endemic but threatened flora and fauna such as the Philippine Eagle, Rafflesia and several hardwood species and is identified as an important bird area.
Meanwhile, Lake Mainit Key Biodiversity Area (LMKBA), comprising the towns of Tubod, Mainit, Alegria and Sison in Surigao del Norte and Kitcharao, Jabonga, Santiago and Tubay in Agusan del Norte, has almost completed their Transboundary Plan. DENR is closely collaborating with the Lake Mainit Development Alliance (LMDA), comprised of the LGUs encompassing LMKBA and other concerned national government agencies. Lake Mainit is considered as the fourth largest and the deepest lake in the country and hosts endemic and threatened freshwater species.
Key component outputs of the transboundary planning process include the KBA ecological profile, the spatial management strategy, and the sectoral development plans and accompanying investment programs. Once completed, the plan is expected to be upscaled in the Provincial Land Use Plans of the 3 provinces to ensure its implementation and sustainability. A manual of procedures for the transboundary planning is also expected to be formulated to serve as reference for subsequent training of trainers and replication to other sites.