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The Philippine archipelago is one of the most important global centres of biological diversity. Many of its species can only found there, such as the Philippines tube-nosed fruit bat and the Visayan warty pig.
Sadly, The Philippines is ranked as having the most severely endangered endemic wildlife in the world. Its forest are being lost and degraded at an astonishing rate.
This habitat loss is also responsible for the increasing number and severity of floods and droughts in the country, as well as massive soil erosion, coral reef siltation and ground water depletion. These impacts directly undermine the livelihoods of poor rural and forest-dependent communities. Losing natural resources has a direct effect on people’s well being.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI), through its Philippines Conservation Support Programme, works alongside local conservation organisations to stop and reverse this downhill trend. We aim to provide safeguards to the people who depend and coexist with these unique biodiversity.
Since 2006, FFI has been exploring ways in which emerging Payments for Ecosystem Services mechanisms can be harnessed for the benefit of conservation and local communities. The core idea behind REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, plus enhancing forest carbon stocks in developing countries) is to make performance-based payments to forest communities who help reduce emissions by conserving their forest. To succeed, REDD+ requires a broad set of policies and institutional reforms that clearly define land tenure and carbon rights.
To help with this, FFI has secured a three million Euro EU-funded project on ‘Developing community carbon pools for REDD+ projects in selected ASEAN countries’. The project has been designed to build the capacity of local communities and local governments to actively participate in REDD+ pilot projects in Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia and to feed lessons learned into policy dialogues at sub-national, national and regional levels. The project also supports the design and implementation of pilot REDD+ projects, with the aim of establishing social and environmental safeguards and ensuring equitable benefit sharing.
A new partnership between FFI, Team Energy Foundation and the Non-timber Forest Products Task Force aims to ensure sustainable livelihoods for forest-dependent communities in a key biodiversity area in southern Luzon: Mt Irid-Angilo, Gen. Nakar, Quezon Province.
Together we will strengthen the ability of local governments and communities to protect forests and biodiversity whilst increasing income and employment from other sources such as locally governed Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) projects.
In Southern Palawan, FFI is contributing to a pilot project exploring how to improve forest governance and sustainable upland development through climate change mitigation financing strategies. Our partners for this project are Nagkakaisang Tribu ng Palawan (a federation of Palawan Tribal Groups), Environment and Legal Action Center, Institute for the Development of Educational and Ecological Alternatives Inc., Municipality of Quezon, Palawan and Non-Timber Forest Products-Exchange Programme.
The Philippines lies within the ‘coral triangle’ – the epicentre of marine biodiversity – and is home to around 3,000 fish species, 500 coral species and over 40 species of mangroves. Endangered species of sea turtles, whale sharks, yellowfin tuna and dolphins also inhabit these waters. The reefs are among the most threatened in the world due to overfishing, destructive fishing methods, pollution, coral mining and unregulated coral reef tourism, all of which contribute to the rapid decline of marine…Read more