US opens $22M venture for PH environment protection

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    WASHINGTON, through the United States Agency for International Development, has launched a $22 million (P1.1 billion) biodiversity project in the country designed to support the sustainable management of natural resources and combat environmental crimes.

    The US Embassy in Manila said the project, dubbed as the Philippine Sustainable Interventions for Biodiversity, Oceans and Landscapes or SIBOL, will be implemented in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

    “This five-year biodiversity project will support the Philippine government to achieve its goals of improving natural resource governance and stimulating public and private investments,” the embassy said.

    The embassy said one of the target sites for preservation and protection is Mount Cleopatra’s Needle, which is among the most-visited tourist attractions of Palawan’s capital city of Puerto Princesa.

    USAID Philippines Mission director Lawrence Hardy II said the project will not only preserve and protect the country’s rich biodiversity but will also improve the livelihood of Filipinos whose incomes depend on natural resources.