The Philippines is one of the most biologically diverse and unique places on Earth, hosting over 52,000 recorded plant and animal species, and counting. Many communities, especially the poor, depend on biodiversity for life and livelihood. It is also a big part of many cultures. Biodiversity is a source of environmental services from shelter to food, fuel, water, medicine and even protection from disasters or extreme weather events. However, habitat destruction, overexploitation and pollution, among others, continue to threaten the integrity of biodiversity. In fact, the Philippines is considered to be the most threatened megadiverse country in the world.
The poor are the most at risk with biodiversity loss. Working on their own or through their organizations and other partners, many of these communities have taken the responsibility of protecting and managing the natural resources on which they depend. Armed with legal and other policy instruments as well as customary laws and traditional practices, these local stakeholders have proven the indispensable role of community-based stewards in biodiversity conservation. Through the years, their efforts have attained varying levels of success.
Thus, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) established the Small Grants Programme in 1992. SGP is a global program, pursued through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide grants of up to US$ 50,000 to support the initiatives of local stakeholder groups in five focal areas: Biodiversity, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Land Degradation, Sustainable Forest Management, and International Waters and Chemicals.
SGP embodies the very essence of sustainable development by "thinking globally, acting locally". By providing financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people's well-being and livelihoods, SGP demonstrates that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives.
Currently, SGP is in its fifth operational Phase in the Philippines and is leveraging the experiments, experiences, and achievements of the past two decades to further explore innovative and improved responses to the great variety of evolving needs at local and country levels.
SGP5 holds Training of Trainers workshop for communities
Baler, Aurora - As part of its capacity-building activities, the GEF Small Grants Programme in the Philippines (SGP5) recently held a Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop on Biodiversity-friendly Enterprises (BDFE), Community-based Biodiversity Monitoring and Evaluation Systems (CBMES), and Ecosystem Valuation (EV) from May 17 to 24, 2016 in Baler, Aurora. Dr. Antonio C. Manila, Assistant Director of the Biodiversity Management Bureau, and Atty. Rodolfo Ferdinand N. Quicho, Jr., Country Programme…
Investing in biodiversity is investing in our future
By: Titon Mitra As presumptive President Duterte's agenda is progressively developed, International Biodiversity Day offers a timely reminder of the importance of effective management of a country's natural wealth. Few places in the world are as rich in biodiversity as the Philippines: considered as one of 18 mega-biodiverse countries, harboring more diversity of life per hectare than any other country in the world. This immense natural wealth (and it is…