PH, USAID intensifies partnership for climate change mitigation

PH, USAID intensifies partnership for climate change mitigation

USAID PAYS COURTESY VISIT TO DENR CHIEF. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna (5th from left) join officials from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Environment Office Chief John Edgar, Mission Director to the Philippines Ryan Washburn, and US Charge d’Affaires Heather Variava (2nd , 3rd and 4th from left, respectively) on their visit to the DENR to discuss strengthening partnership on environmental protection and climate change mitigation. They are joined by (from left to right) DENR Foreign Assisted and Special Projects Service Project Management Division Chief Eddie B. Abugan Jr., Biodiversity Management Bureau OIC Director Natividad Y. Bernardino, National Water Resources Board Executive Director Sevillo D. David Jr., Policy and Planning Service OIC Director Glenn Marcelo C. Noble, and Project Preparation Division Chief Conrado A. Bravante, Jr.
By Rjhay E. Laurea

MANILA — The Philippine government through its Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), together with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are exploring ways to further enhance the partnership of the Philippines and the United States in environmental protection and climate change mitigation.

In their recent courtesy visit to DENR Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna, US Charge d’Affaires Heather Variava, USAID Mission Director to the Philippines Ryan Washburn, and USAID Philippines Environment Office Chief John Edgar, acknowledged the longtime partnership between USAID and DENR.

“It is our great pleasure to meet you today and have the opportunity to personally thank the US government for always supporting our efforts of meeting our agenda in the environment and natural resources,” Sampulna told the US officials.

The new DENR chief cited that several USAID projects were implemented during his time on the field and hoped to continue doing so under his leadership. Sampulna had been regional director from 2009 to 2018.

“I came from the field, from the region, and I have implemented many USAID projects. We have the Safe Water project and SIBOL (Sustainable Interventions for Biodiversity, Oceans and Landscapes), which we are implementing right now,” Sampulna said.

National Water Resources Board (NWRB) Executive Director Sevillo D. David Jr., said the Safe Water project is currently being implemented by NWRB as DENR’s focal agency, among three regional offices in Palawan, Negros Occidental, and Mindanao.

Meanwhile, DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) OIC Director Natividad Y. Bernardino shared that the SIBOL project team has recently worked on the Siargao seascape, which was badly hit by Typhoon Odette in December 2021.

“The work that USAID does to the country’s resources is so important to the whole world, and the Philippines is one of our priorities for safe and resilient water,” Variava said.

USAID provides technical assistance to the projects, with the Safe Water initiative aiming to improve the sustainable management of the country’s water resources, and SIBOL on reducing environmental crimes, and improving water security. (AI/MTVN)

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