Partnerships for Biodiversity Conservation: Mainstreaming in Local Agricultural Landscapes/Biodiversity Partnerships Project (BPP)
What is the project about?
The BPP is in recognition of the need to address habitat fragmentation brought about by inadequate policies, tools and capacities to encourage the participation of local government units (LGUs) in mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in local agricultural landscapes. The key intention of this project, therefore, is to increase the capacity of the LGUs to mainstream biodiversity conservation in production landscapes/seascapes geared towards the protection and enhancement of the quality of the environment and the sustainable management of the natural resources. Specifically, the project aims to demonstrate how LGUs, with enhanced capacities, and working together with local and national partners, can plan and manage economic activities and growth in ways that meet landscape-level biodiversity conservation and sustainable use objectives in critical biogeographic regions.
To achieve this objective, BPP adopts a programmatic approach that would provide enabling policies at the national level; enhance capacities of LGUs, and undertake activities to demonstrate the application of improved policies and enhance capacities of LGUs in selected pilot sites of the project. The BPP would be carried out in partnerships with key national government agencies including national and local conservation non-government organizations (NGOs), to muster their resources and expertise in achieving the project objectives.
There would be three major outcomes In line with the project’s programmatic approach:
Outcome 1: National-level systems, policies, tools and capacities are in place to support LGU level biodiversity conservation efforts.
Outcome 2: LGUs encompassing 1.6 Million hectares in five key biogeographic regions have the tools and capacities to integrate sustainable management into decentralized government structures.
Outcome 3: Systems, policies, tools and capacities for landscape level biodiversity conservation and sustainable development are applied at eight pilot sites covering 700,000 hectares across five critical biogeographic regions (Luzon, Palawan, Negros-Panay, Mindoro and Mindanao).
The activities of the project is structured according to the six (6) thematic areas as follow:
- Mainstreaming Biodiversity Impact Assessment;
- National Policy and Program for Biodiversity-friendly Agriculture Practices;
- Strengthening the Enforcement of Wildlife Trade Regulations;
- Encouraging Biodiversity Friendly Business Activities;
- Integrating Biodiversity Conservation in Local Government Land Use and Development Planning; and
- Development of a Biodiversity Knowledge Management System.
What have we accomplished so far?
Across the thematic areas, highlights of major accomplishments include the development of frameworks, tools and policy instruments and documents, in aid of providing inputs and ensure biodiversity (BD) lens in national and local government plans and programs. On policy support and advocacy, major tools and policies developed were the policy framework for BD-focused strategic environmental assessment; BD-friendly agriculture practices; BD-friendly enterprises, including tourism businesses; and draft policy on multi-agency collaboration for enhanced and harmonized regulation of wildlife trade and corresponding MOAs with partner agencies. In terms of actual LGU engagement, BPP has mustered LGU support to enhance and incorporate biodiversity into their respective CLUPs as well as the framework for transboundary planning to promote inter-LGU BD conservation and management. BPP also took into account the role of IPs through the enhancement of biodiversity conservation in the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP) in partnership with NCIP. To ensure continuity and ownership of the initiatives, local capacity building activities were conducted across phases of implementation in demonstration sites and LGUs, while soliciting for continued support from LGUs through local resolutions stipulating their commitment to the project and provided financial counterparts for local land and development plans. The creations of Local Project Site Committees including the strengthening of Protected Area Management Board have also mobilized LGUs and local partners. Specific to NGA-related activities, a rapid assessment of livelihoods and enterprises as well as documentation of the agricultural practices and existing or potential BD-friendly businesses in the eight project sites was conducted in support of DA, DTI and DOT’s tasks.
Under communications and advocacy, a focused framework was developed as basis to craft operational plans to mainstream BD conservation to specific target audiences and the public. This is simultaneous with the conduct of continuous site-level advocacy and IEC activities. Knowledge products composed of various visual collaterals covering project sites and thematic areas were also produced while ensuring media presence and exposure of the Project on tri-media. On the other hand, the design and initial installation of the Partners Knowledge Management Information System (PKMIS) on biodiversity conservation and initiatives among partners was also completed. Finally, a Project M&E System and Manual likewise was also completed to guide the conduct of M&E work at all levels of the project.
As BPP embraces a new implementation timeline, time and efforts will be poured heavily on completing on-going and planned activities mostly at the site level, including the ecological profiling of each site, as well as forging collaboration among LGUs and other partners while ensuring public awareness and advocacy about Project activities and BD conservation. It is BPP’s aim to persistently pursue its targets and project objectives and attain desired outcomes within and even beyond project life.
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