Philippine corals 10

THE United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said it launched a P1.1 billion biodiversity project for the Philippines.

In a statement, USAID said the five-year project aims to assist the Philippine government in improving its management of natural resources and boosting public and private environmental investment.

USAID said it will work with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

RTI International, a US non-profit, will lead the implementation of the project, alongside the Center for Conservation Innovations, Forest Foundation Philippines, Internews, Zoological Society of London, and the Resources, Environment, and Economics Center for Studies.

USAID Philippines Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II said the project will support the country’s efforts to conserve its biodiversity while increasing livelihood opportunities for Filipinos dependent on natural resources.

“Effective conservation management and measurement of the value of natural resources contribute to the Philippines’ economic development and environmental resilience,” Mr. Hardy said.

DENR Undersecretary Juan Miguel T. Cuna said that the DENR is looking forward to the partnership with USAID.

“We welcome the opportunity in advancing our goals of environmental sustainability and strengthening DENR’s capacity to combat environmental criminals, enhance the adaptive capacities of communities against natural disasters, as well as improve the economic conditions of affected local people,” Mr. Cuna said.

USAID said it has given more than P5 billion worth of assistance to the Philippine government to conserve biodiversity and protect its landscapes and seascapes. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave