Protected area management enhancement

Project description

Title: Protected area management enhancement in the Philippines
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Country: Philippines
Lead executing agency: Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
Overall term: 2012 to 2017

Philippines. A nursery of seedlings for planting © GIZ

Context

The Philippines is home to more than 39,000 species of flora and fauna, of which 6,800 are endemic and more than 700 are on the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Over the last ten years, the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has worked together with partners from civil society and the scientific community to perform an in-depth assessment of biological data in order to identify key areas for biodiversity conservation. These Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) encompass habitats that are critical to the survival of globally endangered species and to those that are only present in a limited geographical area.

At present, only 50 of the 228 terrestrial and marine KBAs identified so far are afforded sufficient levels of legal protection while 41 are only partially protected and the majority, comprising 137 areas, have yet to receive any protection at all. Furthermore, in many of the legally protected areas the management is in need of substantial improvement, so the natural resources continue to suffer progressive damage.

Objective

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), local authorities and communities have improved the management of 60 existing protected areas and established 100 further terrestrial and marine protected areas in selected KBAs.

Approach

The Protected Area Management Enhancement project (PAME) sets out to improve the management skills and technical expertise of DENR employees at all levels. This includes reorganising responsibilities to meet requirements. Moreover, it supports studies into management effectiveness in existing protected areas with a view to developing proposals for improvements and new management models. In this context training is conducted for DENR employees and other persons who are responsible for preparing applications for financing. Two blocks of courses on a particular topic are offered every year.

Particular emphasis is also placed on supporting the establishment of new protected areas with innovative management systems, to be administered by local authorities. The project promotes the introduction of enhanced knowledge management by DENR and raises public awareness of the value of biodiversity.

The project thereby contributes directly to the international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which has made the establishment of effectively managed protected areas one of its main objectives.

Results

A broad survey on management effectiveness in 60 of the 240 existing nature protection areas of the Philippines was completed in 2013 and presented to the public at the beginning of 2014. 58 per cent of the protected areas analysed received an overall rating of 'poor to moderate'. This result serves as a basis for the next steps in the project. A plan to establish at least 100 new protected areas was prepared (PAME 100). The plan is based on national priorities and options to expand and link areas worthy of protection and defines four types of ecosystems:

  • marine and coastal ecosystems
  • terrestrial ecosystems (all forest types)
  • wetlands and freshwater ecosystems
  • cave ecosystems.

In response to a national call for proposals by the partners, 160 proposals were submitted and are being systematically assessed.

Philippines. A huge Balete tree in a protected area in Silago, Southern Leyte. © GIZ

The Selfie for Biodiversity photo contest organised by the partner authority was held for the first time on the International Day for Biodiversity on 22 May 2014 and brought the importance of biodiversity to the attention of the public. It mainly targeted young people interested in social media. This campaign is now an integral component of the partner programme and will be repeated in the years to come.