The ENDEFENSE PROGRAM Strengthening our Environmental DefendersPosted on December 9, 2019
FPE Enabling Objectives (EO) 1 and 3: Establish local and international cooperation and constituencies for BCSD; Promote responsive policies and actions for BCSD
Signing of the Partnership Agreement for the Endefense Phase 4, Year 3 Project between FPE and the Alternative Law Groups (ALG).
The Philippines, endowed with a unique beauty and a vast array of ecosystems, continues to be part of the megadiverse countries in the world. It means that we have species of plants and animals that are endemic and can only be seen here. The country is also the center of marine biodiversity. As part of the Coral Triangle, we have the third largest reef area in the world at 22,500 km2. However, as much as 75 percent of this have been degraded by human activities1.
A sense of urgency to act and save what remains of our fragile ecosystems has been recognized by the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE). It acknowledged the need to establish and institutionalize a mechanism to help protect and conserve our environment through the provision of legal support.
Thus, the Environmental Defense or Endefense Program was conceptualized and formed by the Foundation in 1993. It acted as a funding mechanism for litigation as well as other related legal actions in the hope of protecting our environment and its rich natural resources against environmental violators and development aggressors.
As the administrator of the EnDefense Program, the “Alternative Law Groups (ALG)”, a coalition of twenty (20) non-governmental legal resource groups, have been active in providing assistance to individuals and groups that seek to pursue legal actions against environmental law violators.
Now on its fourth phase (2015-2018), the EnDefense Program, through the ALG, has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with PANLIPI or the Tanggapang Panligal ng Katutubong Pilipino. The ALG plays a vital role in providing technical and legal support to PANLIPI and FPE-ACWA partners in pursuit of NPC Plan Interventions filed at the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). It has also been instrumental in providing research and policy studies support in the case of the UC-EC as well as the ER 1-94. Furthermore, the EnDefense Program plans to conduct the following in the coming months:
Multi-sectoral dialogues between partner-communities, CSOs, and other stakeholders to determine level of participation in the implementation of environmental programs and enforcement of environmental laws
Legal consultation through local conferences to discuss environmental issues of the community and solutions to address the problems
Forum for information exchanges among CSOs and policymakers for the formulation and presentation of proposed reform measures
Paralegal training seminars on environmental litigation in order to build the resource base of lawyers, law students, and paralegals/second-liners working for the environment.
1Managing Philippine coasts and seas: understanding the challenge. Extracted and adapted from “Philippine Coastal Management Guidebook Series No. 1: Coastal Management Orientation and Overview,” published in 2001 by DENR, DA-BFAR and DILG through the Coastal Resource Management Project of DENR and USAID. Downloaded from http://oneocean.org/flash/the_philippine_seas.html
For more stories, click here to access the FPE 2019 Annual Report