FPE Forges Partnership with DENR, PTFCF: Pushes for Planting of Endemic Tree SpeciesPosted on March 30, 2012
Quezon City, February 20, 2012- The Foundation for the Philippine Environment, through its BOT Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Atty. Danny N. Valenzuela, signed the National Greening Program Partnership Agreement (NGPPA) in representation of Civil Society Organizations together with the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (PTFCF), represented by its BOT Chairperson, Dr. Paciencia P. Milan, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), represented by Sec. Ramon J.P. Paje. The agreement was formalized on February 20, 2012 at the Office of the Secretary, DENR Main Building, Diliman, Quezon City.
Under the NGPPA, FPE and PTFCF, as well as the Rain Forest Restoration Initiative (RFRI), will mobilize their respective community partners to produce and plant native or endemic tree species in areas mutually identified by the parties in the implementation of the National Greening Program (NGP). On the otherhand, DENR undertakes to pay the community partners for whatever seedlings they produce and plant. Furthermore, the Parties shall jointly prepare the annual work and financial plan and monitor the implementation of the agreement in relation to the use of native tree species starting 2013, with the intention of creating a roadmap towards the complete use of Philippine native or endemic species in all reforestation efforts in the country in 2016 onwards.
The National Greening Program is primarily implemented by DENR by virtue of Executive Order No. 26 signed by Pres. Benigno S.C. Aquino, III on February 24, 2011. The Program was envisioned to become a priority measure for poverty reduction, food security, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. It includes among others the development of forestlands (production and protection), mangrove and protected areas, ancestral domains, civil and military reservations, urban areas under the greening plan of local government units, inactive and abandoned mine sites, and riverbanks, stream banks and other suitable public lands.
Earlier, the FPE Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Perry Ong, FPE Vice Chairperson, to serve as the NGP point person. Dr. Ong spearheaded the discussions with DENR and PTFCF on the mechanics of the agreement, together with Mr. Godofredo Villapando, Acting Executive Director.
Standing l to r: Ms. Floradema Eleazar, Project manager New CAPP; Ms. Tess Blastigue, DENR-PAWB Staff; Atty. Danny Valenzuela FPE Chairperson/CEO; Dir. Theresa Mundita Lim DENR-PAWB Dir; and, Mr. Godofredo Villapando Jr. FPE Acting Executive Director.
After the signing of the NGPPA, Atty. Valenzuela also represented FPE in the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) of the DENR, represented by Dir. Theresa Mundita S. Lim, which paved the way for cooperation between the two entities in the implementation of the New Conservation Areas of the Philippines Program (NewCAPP), being spearheaded by PAWB and funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). Under the MOA, FPE pledged to finance projects and other initiatives through its grants program in support of the objectives and outcomes of the NewCAPP. Such grants approved by FPE shall form part of the Philippine Government’s counterpart.
The FPE Chair lauded the signing of the two Agreements as significant breakthroughs in the active participation of Civil Society in concerted efforts towards the preservation of mother nature.