7th operational phase of UNDP-GEF launched in PH

7th operational phase of UNDP-GEF launched in PH

Acting DENR Sec. Jim Sampulna

By Rjhay E Laurea

MANILA – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Acting Sec. Jim O. Sampulna said the rationale for building the resilience of community-based organizations (CBOs) is taking conservation and livelihood interventions as the country launched the Seventh Operational Phase of the United Nations Development Programme-Global Environment Facility (UNDP-GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP-7) last April 8, 2022.

The SGP 7 which is being applied by the UNDP-Philippines through the Foundation for Philippine Environment and with support from the GEF and DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), empowers CBOs including women, indigenous peoples, and youth via community-led tasks that aim to achieve global environmental benefits while improving livelihood and reducing poverty.

Since 1992, SGP has executed 26,429 projects in 136 countries.

In the Philippines, over US$11 million in grants have been distributed over the past 25 years.

With the launch of the SGP-7, Sampulna said that a full landscape strategy will be enacted for the project sites in Aurora province, Catubig Watershed in Northern Samar, Calamianes Group of Islands in Palawan, and Siargao Protected Landscape and Seascape in Surigao del Norte.

“It is urgent that we strengthen the resilience of our CBOs as they are the frontliners in undertaking conservation and livelihood interventions. In this period of climate change and biodiversity degradation impacts on communities and ecosystems, a more integrated effort of weaving together interventions is essential,” Sampulna said.

SGP-7 aims to back community organizations in enhancing the socio-ecological resilience of the four target landscapes via community initiatives to make global environmental and sustainable development benefits.

The initiatives will be known and applied to back landscape-level strategies planned by multi-stakeholder groups composed of representatives of landscape sectors, local gov’t authorities, non-government organizations (NGOs), and the private sectors.

The seventh operational phase also aims to effect change towards fueling governance systems even for disaster response, recovery, and resilience building.

“Catastrophic incidents like the onslaught of Typhoon Odette highlight the urgent need to continue our efforts on disaster risk reduction and resilience building,” UNDP Philippines Resident Representative Dr. Selva Ramachandran said.

“These devastating events exacerbate the already limiting and unpredictable situation brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The promising changes being offered by SGP-7 are expected to effect change towards strengthening governance systems even for disaster response, recovery, and building resilient communities,” Ramachandran pointed out.

The plans that will be used for applying the program will include expanding the coverage of protection mechanisms over actual Key Biodiversity Areas and critical habitats; maximizing the Expanded National Integrated Protected Area Systems or E-NIPAS law, and increasing the support for indigenous peoples’ socio-cultural values about biodiversity via support for local community-managed areas.

Also, Building CBOs-People’s Organizations government partnerships; increasing stakeholder participation; biodiversity-friendly and climate-resilient livelihoods and enterprises; and capacity building of communities and local gov’t units are also included as plans for execution.

The program is expected to profit NGOs, the academe, indigenous peoples, community groups, local governments, other sector agencies, and private sectors. (EGR/ai/mtvn)

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