DENR XII, USAIDtap HEIs FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION

(December 4, 2017, Koronadal City) – TheDepartment of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region XII through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) haspartnered with theMindanao State University-General Santos City, Notre Dame of Marbel University and Notre Dame of Dadiangas University to boost research anddevelopment for biodiversity conservation in Region XII.

DENR has identified the three Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) as part of the USAID Protect Wildlife Project and tap their expertise to help stakeholders such as the Protected Area Management Boards (PAMBs)in making better decisionsthrough science and research and innovation.

“We have been working with the academe in the protection and conservation initiatives of our protected areas in the region. The Protect Wildlife has identified two provinces as pilot areas, the Province of South Cotabato and Sarangani Province where Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape (MMPL) and Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS) are located,” DENR XII Regional Director Reynulfo A. Juan said.

As a manifestation of partnership, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was forgedbetween the USAID and the three HEIsas a strategy of strengthening responsive research and development that is responsive to the needs of the Local Government Units, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), regulatory and enforcement bodies and communities particularly in wildlife protection and enforcement.

USAID Mission Director to the Philippines Mr. Lawrence Hardy II was pleased to sign the MOU with the HEIs in Region XII. “This MOU signifies our intention to work together on joint research activities to fill the knowledge gap in conservation in this region. We also want to develop budding researchers as part o sf a scientific and technological workforce, who will contribute to a sustainable, knowledge-based economy,” Mr. Hardy II said.

“Among our partners in Mindanao are the provinces of South Cotabato and Sarangani, where we have expanded to implement Protect Wildlife, and General Santos City. This city is the newest member of our Cities Development Initiative network, wherein USAID supports partner cities outside Metro Manila to fulfill their potential as engines of inclusive economic growth,”Mr. Hardy II added.

The DENR through the USAID recognizes that effective conservation is not the job of a single organization. It is the result of intensive and creative collaboration among stakeholders in the government, the private sector, communities, among others.
As such, Notre Dame of Dadiangas University President Brother PaternoCorpuz expressed his gratitude together with MSU-Gensan and NDMU that they are part of the project in terms of research and even community engagement. “Let us work together for this is not something that one entity can do. Our connections should not be broken. We have healthy atmosphere and we have the resources we need, together let us protect and conserve these resources through research and development,” Bro. Corpus said.

The joint partnership includes interventions that engage HEIs in biodiversity conservation research and education to solve the most pressing conservation challenges and the development of sustainable practices and technologies for environmental and natural resources-based livelihood in local communities. 
Among the signatories of the MOU were USAID Mission Director to the Philippines Mr. Lawrence Hary II, MSU-Gensan Vice Chancellor, Dr. Edna Perez Oconer, NDDU President Brother PaternoCorpuz and NDMU Executive Vice President Andres Magallanes. (RHSumagpao/CGValdez/DENR XII)

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Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu (center) turns over DENR flag to incoming Regional Director Nilo B. Tamoria (right) from outgoing Regional Director Reynulfo A. Juan (left) during the Turn Over Ceremony held on January 13 at DENR XII quadrangle.

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