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Gov’t investment forum to highlight sustainable agriculture opportunities

February 8, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – Opportunities in sustainable agriculture are set to be highlighted in an investment forum to be hosted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on February 11.

Carrying the theme “Conserving Biodiversity to Promote Inclusive Economic Growth”, the forum will be attended by Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, Senators Loren Legarda and Bam Aquino, United Nations Development Program Country Director Maurice Dewulf, as well chief executives of local government units (LGUs) and representatives of non-government organizations (NGOs).

The focus of the event is on business opportunities identified by the DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) in the sustainable use of marine and forest-based resources in key biodiversity areas (KBAs).

KBAs are sites that contain one or more endangered species that require immediate conservation action.

Investment opportunities in these sites have been identified by the BMB in collaboration with the departments of Trade, Agriculture and Tourism through its Biodiversity Partnership Project (BPP), which was launched in November 2012 through $17-million in funding from the World Bank’s Global Environment Facility.

Some of the opportunities to be showcased include:

  • An ecotourism project as well as furniture and handicraft production within the 200,155-hectare Malampaya Sound Protected Land and Seascape Area in Taytay, Palawan.
  • Community-based coffee enterprises and processed food at the Quirino Protected Landscape in Quirino province.
  • Handicraft production and handloom weaving using the bakong plant and a wine, vinegar, jam factory using a local fruit called Lubeg inside the Northeastern Cagayan KBA in Cagayan Valley.
  • An eco park project integrating a lemongrass and citronella plantation and essential oils extraction facility and gifts and houseware production using tiger grass, nito, bamboo and abaca in Northern Negros Natural Park in Negros Occidental.
  • Manufacture of houseware products from abaca, bamboo and nito in Central Panay Mountains in the island of Panay.
  • Almaciga resin production in Mt. Hamiguitan Wildlife Reserve Sanctuary in Davao Oriental.
  • Community-based coffee enterprises and handicraft production in Mt. Kalatungan, a New Conservation Areas in the Philippines Project (NewCAPP) site in Bukidnon province.

The BPP is a six-year long project being implemented in five KBAs in regions 2, 4-B, 6, 10, 11 and 13. It aims to strengthen the capacities of local government units for the inclusion of biodiversity conservation measures in their development plans.

Apart from presenting investment opportunities, the DENR will also launch the “biodiversity-friendly” BF-label branding program at the event. Select people’s organizations (POs) will have the chance to present their respective BF products and enterprises during a plenary session.

Source: Rappler