Manila, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have agreed to extend the implementation of the project on Combating Environmental Organized Crime in the Philippines (CIWT Project) for another 12 months. The project is funded by ADB and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The decision was made during its Third Project Steering Committee (PSC) Meeting held on July 16, 2020.
Dr. Mary Jean Caleda, Project Manager, cited delays during project start, restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and political and organizational changes within DENR and partner agencies as the reasons for the proposed extension.
She reported that, as of June 2020, the project had a total physical accomplishment of 38.4%, and added that extending the project for another 12 months or until December 31, 2021 would provide the project more time to complete all its outputs on policy, capacity development, demand reduction, and communication, education, and public awareness (CEPA).
The PSC concurred with the recommendation. Mr. Bruce Dunn of ADB added that the Technical Assistance on Protecting and Investing in Natural Capital in Asia and the Pacific, which covers the project, had also been extended and that he saw no issue on the side of ADB with regard to the proposed extension.
The PSC also endorsed the revised Design and Monitoring Framework (DMF) and Work and Financial Plan (WFP) during the said meeting.
The meeting was held online via Zoom and was chaired by DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, and International Affairs Atty. Juan Miguel Cuna.
The DENR regional executive directors (REDs) of NCR, Region 7, and Region 13; the directors of the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) and Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Service (FASPS); and ADB constitute the PSC.
Technical staff from DENR-Central, BMB, DENR field offices, ADB and project consultants also attended the meeting.
The CIWT Project is a three-year project executed by BMB and implemented by ADB. It aims to combat environmental organized crime in the Philippines through legal and institutional reforms, capacity building in the full law enforcement chain, and reduction of demand for illegal wildlife and wildlife parts. (IWT Project/ Garie Rigor, Dr. Mary Jean Caleda)