April 24, 2021
The government’s Biodiversity Financing Initiative (Biofin) is luring possible direct investment in a PPP (public private partnership) to fund the P24 billion yearly budget for the Philippine Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (PBSAP).
A program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Biofin’s aim is to close a gap in financing the PBSAP, now being funded at just P5 billion yearly. That presents a high 80% gap.
The PBSAP is a complex roadmap to sustain biodiversity, Protected Areas (PA), and the country’s natural resources. This is critical as it has serious consequences not only on the environment but the sustainable supply of raw materials for complex industries. It started in 2015.
PBSAP supports Philippines’ thrust for sustainable development as it is one of world’s 17 megadiverse country in flora and fauna resources. However, such rich biodiversity faces threats with 93% of original forest cover lost since the 1900s.
PBSAP taps 50 national and attached agencies as responsibility centers to collaboratively implement biodiversity conservation programs. The academe and civil society organizations (CSOs) are also co-implementors.
“By2028, biodiversity is restored and rehabilitated, valued, effectively managed and secured, maintaining ecosystem services to sustain healthy, resilient Filipino communities,” according to DENR.
DENR plans to issue a DENR order on PPP (public private partnerships) so more private companies can directly invest or co-manage the development particularly of environmental resources.
Private companies are also encouraged to allocate a budget for biodiversity programs under their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.
“Research on potential PPP activities and modalities will be undertaken and results will be inputs into proposed policies on PPPs and at the same time, BIOFIN intends to pilot these modalities in selected protected areas,” according to DENR’s Biofin program.
The European Union and the governments of Germany, Switzerland, Flanders and Norway has extended a $2.5 million grant for Philippines to mainstream the biodiversity program into national budget.
The PBSAP cuts across eight thematic areas of biodiversity. The following are the original budget requirements for each:
Access and benefits sharing, P1.8 billion
Invasive alien species, P4.19 billion
Urban biodiversity, P3.72 billion
Inland wetlands, P77.745 billion
Forest/Terrestrial, P214 billion
Agrobiodiversity, P13.091 billion
Cave and cave systems, P7.626 billion
Coastal and marine, P69.89 billion
It is estimated that protection measures can prevent annual loss of $1billion in illegal unreported unregulated fishing alone.
“Biodiversity and ecosystems are key to lifting people out of poverty, contributing to our economy, and strengthening our resilience to climate change,” said DENR. “These plans are likely to affect people’s access to ecosystem services, the governance context in which they live, the ways in which they create and sustain livelihoods for themselves.” (Melody Mendoza Aguiba) PHOTO Credits- Youtube