US awards P240-M grants for biodiversity conservation in Philippines

2023 May 23

GRANT. US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson with representatives of the 11 organizations who received the new grants under USAID’s INSPIRE Project. The grants were announced in celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity. (Photo courtesy of US Embassy in Manila)

MANILA – The United States government has awarded PHP240 million worth of grants to support the biodiversity conservation efforts of 11 select civil society organizations (CSOs) in the Philippines, the US Embassy in Manila announced Tuesday.

The amount will fund grants under the US Agency for International Development’s Investing in Sustainability and Partnership for Inclusive Growth and Regenerative Ecosystems (USAID INSPIRE) project, some of which would focus on wildlife protection and implementation of natural climate solutions.

The Mabuwaya Foundation, one of the recipients, plans to use their grant to protect the intact forests of the Sierra Madre mountain range in Cagayan by addressing illegal logging and conversion of forest lands for agricultural use.

Xavier Agricultural Extension Service Foundation’s grant, on the other hand, will strengthen community-based initiatives to restore and protect the mangrove forests and other marine ecosystems in Zamboanga Sibugay.

The nine other recipients are BaiAni Foundation, CBCP Caritas Filipinas Foundation, Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, Diliman Science Research Foundation, Impl. Project Philippines, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, Surigao Economic Development and Microfinance Foundation, Tanggol Kalikasan, and University of Santo Tomas Research and Endowment Foundation.

US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson affirmed the critical role that CSOs play in translating conservation agreements into actions.

“Through these grants, we are advancing sustainable local solutions that will help communities address the unique climate challenges they face. These grants contribute to our shared goal of a more resilient future where both people and nature thrive,” she said in a ceremony announcing the grant on Monday.

For more than six decades, USAID has partnered with the Philippine government and local organizations to conserve the country’s rich biodiversity and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Since 2021, the embassy said it has provided more than PHP620 million to CSOs to amplify their efforts in achieving environmental sustainability and uplifting the lives of Filipino communities.

The grants were announced in celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity, also on Monday.

The ceremony was also attended by Department of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Juan Miguel Cuna and Gerry Roxas Foundation Executive Director Glen de Castro.

Joyce Ann Rocamora (PNA)