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PROTECT WILDLIFE PROJECT'S YEAR 2 ACTIVITIES

Protect Wildlife (2016-2021) seeks to encourage private and public sector involvement in biodiversity conservation and conservation financing; and to elevate the conservation competencies of LGUs and CSOs and strengthen their engagement in the formulation and execution of local development plans. The core sites of the project are the province of Palawan, including Tubbataha Reef, and the Sulu Archipelago to the southwest of Zamboanga City.

 

According to updates released by the USAID Protect Wildlife project office, below are among the project activities conducted in 2018:

 

 

TRAINING ON FISHERY, FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE LAW ENFORCEMENT

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 Training conducted in Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi*

 

In Tawi-Tawi province, the intensive training was conducted by the project’s Law Enforcement Training Team and participated in by more than 100 sea patrols and forest and wildlife rangers from Panglima Sugala municipality. They were oriented on intelligence gathering and surveillance, planning and conducting arrests and seizures, and procedures in filing environmental cases. The application of national environmental laws in the local context was explained to them.

 

The trained sea patrols are to be deputized by the local government (LGU) in guarding municipal waters and marine protected areas, while some of the forest and wildlife rangers are to be deployed in the Upper Malum watershed.

 

In Palawan province, the project, in support of DENR Palawan, hosted the second batch of training for 30 forest protection officers, who were also staff of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Puerto Princesa. The Protect Wildlife project office noted that, during the training, the trainees had drew up an action plan for the development of a skills development strategy on environmental law enforcement for PENRO Palawan.

 

In March 2017 (Year 1), the project had conducted similar training for the LGU members of the Zamboanga City Anti-Illegal Wildlife Trafficking Task Force, people’s organizations, and community members from the Pasonanca watershed and Santa Cruz Islands (an emerging ecotourism site), and for the DENR Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) enforcement division.

 

 

FORUM AND CONSULTATION ON PAYMENT FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES (PES) SCHEMES

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Community consultation conducted in Brooke’s Point, Palawan*

 

In Palawan province, community consultations on a payment for ecosystem services (PES) scheme involving rehabilitation efforts for the Tigaplan watershed were hosted by the project and the municipal LGU of Brooke’s Point. During these consultations, indigenous communities in Mainit village had agreed to take part in the rehabilitation efforts for the watershed, which is a major municipal water source.

According to the Protect Wildlife project office, under the PES-funded community watershed rehabilitation plan, the LGU will allocate PES funds from the collection revenue of its waterworks system. This fund will be used in providing seedlings of high-value fruit trees to target communities, serving both as a livelihood and watershed protection activity. Said community watershed rehabilitation plan is to be endorsed by the municipal watershed management council for approval by the LGU.

 

Supporting its lobby for the implementation and replication of PES schemes, the project also hosted a PES forum in Puerto Princesa. Successful PES models, including those implemented in the municipality, were presented. The forum was attended by representatives of the public and private sector, including members of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD). PCSD is a project partner for the lobby for PES as a viable and sustainable approach for conservation financing.

 

 

CAMPAIGNING FOR CONSERVATION (C4C) TRAINING

 

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A campaign addressing wildlife poaching, created and executed by graduates of a previous C4C training, underway*

 

With Rare, the project held the fourth Campaigning for Conservation (C4C) training. Thirty-two participants from LGUs, protected area offices, and other organizations from Sarangani and South Cotabato provinces and from Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in Palawan province gathered for the 10-day training in General Santos City.

 

According to the article released by the Protect Wildlife project office, “C4C aims to teach participants to be adept in evidence-based communications campaigns, which goes beyond knowledge and awareness and promotes positive behavior for conservation.

 

 

PARTICIPATORY MAPPING ACTIVITIES FOR WATERSHEDS AND MANGROVE FORESTS

 

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Participatory mapping activity conducted in Zamboanga city*

 

In Zamboanga City, the project and the city LGU’s technical working group (TWG) conducted participatory mapping activities focused on Ayala and Manicahan watersheds and Mampang and Talon-talon mangrove forests. Participants to the mapping activities included members of the communities situated in said watersheds and mangrove forests.

 

The mapping activities aimed to generate on-the-ground information regarding current uses of land and resources as well as socioeconomic activities in said study areas. Results of the mapping activities are to be used in the development of the conservation and management plans of these watersheds and mangrove forests.

 

 

MOU FOR SUPPORTING SOCIAL ENTERPRISES LINKED TO BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION

 

The project has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI). Under the MOU, both partners will provide support to selected social enterprises whose work are linked to biodiversity conservation and are operating in project sites of Protect Wildlife. FSSI will provide financial services and business development support to selected enterprises, while the project will provide technical and capacity-building support.

 

In Year 1 of the project, Protect Wildlife had established several earlier partnerships, including those with Conservation International-Philippines and Lutheran World Relief.

 

*All photos are c/o USAID Protect Wildlife Project Office

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