DENR-DSWD-US Embassy partnership to boost communities' efforts to protect and rehabilitate the Sierra Madre forest in Rizal and Quezon

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DENR-DSWD-US Embassy partnership to boost communities' efforts to protect and rehabilitate the Sierra Madre forest in Rizal and Quezon

DENR-DSWD-USAID  MOU SIGNING

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region IV-A CALABARZON Regional Director Reynulfo Juan (seated left), signs with Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office IV-A Director Leticia Diokno (center) and USAID Office of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Director Jeremy Gustafson (right) the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which formalizes partnership with focus on strengthening and enhancing capabilities of upland communities, particularly the DSWD's Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries, and help in the rehabilitation, development and protection of the Sierra Madre forests in DENR's National Greening Program areas in the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape (UMRBPL) in Rizal and Kaliwa Watershed Forest Reserve (KWFR) in Quezon.

 

PhP 9.2 million will be allocated by the DSWD for more than 1,000 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Tanay, San Mateo, and Antipolo City in Rizal and General Nakar in Quezon, who will be involved in maintenance and protection activities like replanting, weeding, and nursery establishment. The DENR will take the lead in identifying and validating the NGP areas. Its target area to be covered will be at least 2,000 hectares of NGP sites. The U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) Program, will provide capacity-building activities on forest management, and help beneficiaries develop forest-based livelihood activities.

“This collaboration will lead us a step closer to achieving our shared goal of broad-based, inclusive and resilient growth for Filipinos,” said USAID's Gustafson.

DSWD's Diokno sees this as, " The opportunity for our 4Ps beneficiaries to participate, to work for forest conservation, for forest protection, will make them appreciate better the importance of the watersheds, to them and the country.”

DENR's Juan said, “The 4Ps will help us sustain the NGP restoration and maintenance activities beyond its period, and we are very much willing to expand the areas to be covered under this partnership.”

The 26,125-hectares Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape and 27,613 hectares Kaliwa Watershed Forest Reserve are home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna, many of which are found only in the Philippines. The watersheds play an important role in providing water resources to Metro Manila, and in mitigating flooding in the nation’s capital region.

Also in photo are: (L-R): Dr. Isidro Mercado, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer, PENR Office-Rizal; Efrain Laureano, Chief of Party of B+WISER Program; Dr. Antonio C. Manila, DENR Region 4A CALABARZON NGP Regional Coordinator; Ronald Castro, DSWD Region 4A Regional Project Coordinator for 4Ps; Melantie Aceveda, DSWD Region 4A Regional Project Coordinator for Sustainable Livelihood Program; Roldan Dugay, B+WISER Field Manager for UMRBPL and KWFR; and Oliver Agoncillo, USAID Natural Resources Policy Advisor.