(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)


MOU signing with DENR-Sarangani Energy Corp. and LGU Maasim

DENR XII, SEC, LGU ink pact to protect Sarangani Bay sanctuary

(September 25, 2018, Koronadal City)- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region XII signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Maasim in managing and protecting Malbang Marine Sanctuary in Maasim town, this Tuesday.

The MOU is part of the Adopt-A-Reef Program of the DENR as a mechanism in strengthening the involvement of the community in the protection and conservation of the natural resources along Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS).

The DENR as represented by Regional Director Nilo B. Tamoria has been recognizing the significant role of public and private sectors, LGU and community partnership for a sustainably managed Sarangani Bay.

For its part, Mr. Yori Limatta, SEC Plant Manager expressed their desire to work with DENR in the management and protection of Malbang Marine Sanctuary and the development of beach forest as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.

“SEC as part of the power group is happy to be part of the community. We want to prove that the power plant can co-exist with the marine sanctuary. We would not put anything directly to the sea from the power plant,” Limatta said.

Meanwhile, Hadja Didaw D. Piang-Brahim, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services reminded LGUs and Peoples’ Organizations (PO’s) on their environmental responsibility. “We have to strengthen our efforts in conserving and protecting the seascape. The LGUs including barangay chairman and PO’s operating in the protected area have a big responsibility as elaborated in Republic Act (RA) 1178 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Area System (ENIPAS),” ARD Brahim said.

Under the MOU, LGU Maasim will provide consultation dialogue to the local community on the do’s and don’ts in the protected area especially in the Strict Protection Zone.

Hon. Uttoh Salem D. Cutan, Mayor of the Municipality of Maasim said that Maasim is now moving for the networking of marine sanctuary. “We are grateful for the SEC in taking the responsibility to protect and conserve Malbang sanctuary,” Mayor Cutan said.

“The people in the community are now involved through the PO’s and this simply means that they have to be at the forefront in safeguarding the protected seascape,” he added.

Engr. Mama G. Samaon, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) of Sarangani Province underscored that community participation could lead to effective management of coastal resources.

“Communities are the custodian of the environment thus active involvement of all citizens is encouraged,” PENRO Samaon said.

DENR Administrative Order (DAO) 2016-26 known as the Guidelines for the implementation of Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Management Project (CMEMP), a national program which aims to comprehensively manage, address and effectively reduce the drivers and threats of degradation of the coastal and marine ecosystems.

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