The consultative workshop on the Training of Trainers (ToT) for the Biodiversity-Friendly Agricultural Practices (BDFAPs) held last October 26-29, 2015 at the L’Fisher Hotel, Bacolod City officially rolled out the joint Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Agriculture (DA) capacity building initiative to promote biodiversity-friendly agricultural practices in and around protected areas (PAs) and key biodiversity areas (KBAs), and its promotion in agricultural landscapes around the country. This joint effort is in relation to the proposed Joint Administrative Order between DENR and DA on mainstreaming BDFAPs and the initial piloting activities in BPP demonstration sites.

bpp bio friendly agri practices visayasParticipants of the Consultative Workshop on the BDFAP Training of Trainers for VisayasSpearheaded by the DA-Technical Working Group (TWG) for the Biodiversity Partnerships Project (BPP), the training series aims to create a pool of BDFAP trainers from local government units (LGUs) and field offices of both DA and DENR. The four-day workshop was the first of a series of consultative workshops designed to fine tune the contents of a training manual to be published by DA-Agricultural Training Institute (ATI). Similar workshops will also be conducted by early 2016 for Luzon and Mindanao stakeholders.

The workshop participants, representing technical staff from LGUs and regional and provincial units of DENR and DA with jurisdiction over the two demonstration sites in Visayas namely, Central Panay Mountains (CPM) and Northern Negros Natural Park (NNNP), were oriented on key topics such as policies on agriculture and fisheries relevant to biodiversity, basic biodiversity and ecological concepts, proposed standards on BDFAPs, and ways to make agriculture practices biodiversity-friendly. They were joined by technical experts of the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Product Standards (BFAPS), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and ATI who acted as resource persons.

The BPP Project Management Unit (PMU), meanwhile, took on the initiative to ensure that BDFAPs are institutionalized in LGUs, starting with development of a model of BDFAP program for local implementation as well as a template ordinance for adoption by LGUs.

The event was graced by newly-installed DA Regional Executive Director Renato Manantan of the newly-created Negros Island Region (NIR), who expressed optimism and support for the BDFAPs initiative.

This pioneering collaboration by DENR and DA on BDFAP is in line with the implementation of the BPP, a six-year programme implemented by DENR-BMB, with funding support from the Global Environment Facility and United Nations Development Programme. #

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