Dr. Feliciano G. Calora, Jr. and Dr. Leila C. America, Director and Assistant Directors, respectively, of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD’s) Forestry and Environment Research Division (FERD), attended the meeting on the presentation of the final Philippine Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan (PBSAP) costing at the Astoria Plaza Hotel recently.

The meeting aimed to validate the initial results of costing of actions and strategies within the PBSAP.

The PBSAP is the country’s contribution to the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAP), which require countries to prepare a national biodiversity strategy that will be mainstreamed to the planning and activities of involved sectors.

Representatives from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), non-government organizations, together with PCAARRD attended the meeting.

According to Lorenzo Cordova, Environmental and Business Specialist of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to fully implement the Philippine Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan (PBSAP), the government will need a funding of P336 to 392 billion with an annual budget requirement of P34 billion.

Of the said amount, 50% will be allocated for forestry and terrestrial ecosystems while 20% will be for inland and wetlands. The rest of the budget will be allocated for coastal and marine and urban ecosystem.

With the limited budget as presented during the meeting, Cordova also said that there will be a need to prioritize projects for implementation or seek external funds.

Meanwhile, Annabelle Trinidad, PBSAP lead consultant, cited the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Agriculture (DA) as having the highest budget allotted to biodiversity projects.

For PCAARRD, the Council, through FERD, undertakes to look into the priority areas on NBSAP and to determine how these areas relate to the Council’s Industry Strategic Plan (ISP) on biodiversity. It will also determine where complementation can be done particularly in funding priority projects.

Annabelle Plantilla of the Haribon Foundation presented UNDP’s Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN).

BIOFIN directly supports in formulating PBSAP and aims to develop a methodological framework for transforming enabling environment for biodiversity finance at the national level. (Rose Anne K. Mananghaya, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Service)