Project Manager: Dr. Mary Jean Caleda
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), received funding approval from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for the project entitled “Integrated Approach in Management of Major Biodiversity Corridors in the Philippines,” “otherwise known as the BD Corridor Project.
The project is consistent with the priorities defined in the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016. The project will demonstrate how the network approach to PA system management can be demonstrated at the corridor level. The project is also aligned with the strategic priorities of the Philippine Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan (PBSAP) 2015-2028. Moreover, the Project will contribute to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 15: Life on Land (Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss). More importantly, it will directly address the threats to sustainable forest management and help in delivering ecosystem benefits to affected population.
The Project will also contribute to attaining SDG Targets 1 (eradicate extreme poverty), 2 (end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition, promote sustainable agriculture), 5 (achieve gender equality, empower women and girls, end all forms of discrimination) and 13 (take urgent action to combat climate change impacts, integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning). In contributing to the attainment of SDG Target 1 (end poverty in all its forms everywhere, the Project will work with selected communities to influence their practices to reverse the current conditions. The impact of the Project would be felt by communities and resource managers living within and around the biodiversity corridors.
The primary objective of the BD Corridor Project is to operationalize integrated management of biodiversity corridors to generate multiple benefits including effective conservation of globally threatened species and high conservation value forests, reduce deforestation and degradation and enhance local biodiversity-friendly livelihoods. It is aimed at addressing the increased degradation of habitats from deforestation and conversion to agriculture and expanding infrastructure development, pollution, invasive alien species (IAS) and climate change which are threatening critical habitats and ecosystems and their attendant biodiversity.
The project target sites are the Mindoro Biodiversity Corridor in Region 4B and the Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor in Regions 11 and 13 which have been chosen mainly because of their critical importance as centers of endemism and biodiversity hotspot and economic significance. Other criteria include poverty incidence, vulnerability, extent of extractive industries and/or extent of land use conversion and infrastructure development and land degradation. The selection was made following an evaluation of all biological corridors in the country and determination of their biological importance, threat level and potential for demonstration of integrated approaches.
The two biodiversity corridors selected below represent distinct biodiversity characteristics and forest formations, located in different biogeographic zones. Each site offers different sets of challenges for integrated biodiversity management, due to the nature and degree of threats they are exposed to. A total of 16 KBAs are located in the two biodiversity corridors, with a total area of 1.026 Million hectares. The two corridors host 185,046 hectares of old growth forests and 657,214 hectares of open forests.