PHILIPPINE-AMERICAN FUND
Monday, December 18, 2017
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  • Haribon Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources, Inc.

     
    PROJECT TITLE
    Strengthening Capacity of Local Conservation Actors in Managing the Sub-Watersheds of Naujan Lake National Park
     
    GOAL
    To harmonize natural resource management initiatives in watershed areas through capacity building and community engagement
     
    LOCATION
    96,000 hectares in Naujan Lake National Park covering the municipalities of Naujan, Victoria, Socorro and Pola in Oriental Mindoro
     
    BENEFICIARIES
    25 Protected Area Management Bureau members;
    100 Local Conservation Managers and Actors/Key;
    Stakeholders; 50 Eco Guardians and Rangers
     
    IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD
    July 2016 to March 2018
     

    BACKGROUND
    Naujan Lake, the fifth largest in the Philippines, was recognized as a Wetland of International Importance as it provides home to the Philippine Duck which is listed vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list. The sub-watersheds of the Naujan Lake National Park (NLNP) are also inhabited by endangered and critically endangered biodiversity species, including the Philippine Teak, Philippine Warty Pig and the Tamaraw.

    The major threat in the area is the ongoing loss of forest cover that averages 557 hectares per year due to the limited capacities of communities to participate in conservation work, lack of coordinated support for biodiversity conservation and very limited options in alternative livelihood.

    ACTIVITIES
    USAID, through the Philippine-American Fund, supports Haribon Foundation in strengthening capacities of local conservation actors for the protection of sub-watershed areas in the NLNP. Local government efforts and law enforcement initiatives are being harmonized to improve natural resource management of the key biodiversity area. Communities are also being mobilized to engage in biodiversity-friendly livelihood and agricultural practices.

    UPDATES AS OF MARCH 2017
    The executive orders (EO) which formalize the creation of the technical working group (TWG) for the development of the Forest Land Use Plan (FLUP) in Naujan and Victoria were issued by the local government units (LGU). The EO specified the composition of the TWG and the functions of each agency involved in FLUP formulation.

    The project launched its new program, the Biodiversity Fellows Program (BFP) for local conservation leaders, and completed three of its four phases. The first three phases covered threat and impact analysis, national framework for biodiversity and watershed conservation, resource generation and monitoring and evaluation. The fourth phase focuses on the development of local conservation projects.  At the end of the modules, all qualified candidates become the first batch of biodiversity conservation fellows who will collaborate towards community-based conservation and resource management.

    The project conducted the Bantay Gubat (Forest Guard) training needs assessment (TNA) in four partner LGUs. A total of 86 prospective Community Empowerment Legal Enforcement (CELE)/ Bantay Gubat (21 percent women) were profiled. The TNA results will also be used to develop training and workshop modules on environmental law education, paralegal training and formulation of Forest Protection and Law Enforcement Plan of the CELE/Bantay Gubat.

    The project started the field implementation of the biophysical survey in LGU Naujan and Victoria, and secondary data gathering for the socio-economic survey. Field implementation involved site reconnaissance, securing permission and endorsement from the local community to conduct the bio-physical survey, formation of the research team and technical experts needed for the survey. With the endorsement of the local community, the project was able to submit the Gratuitous Permit to the DENR for the conduct of the survey proper.