Negros Occidental Gov. Bong Lacson signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Philippines, represented by its Resident Representative, Dr. Selva Ramachandran, for finance solutions on biodiversity conservation, and sustainable environmental protection and conservation projects in the province, with support from the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN).
The MOU signing was held at the Governor’s Office, Provincial Capitol, this afternoon, and witnessed by Lisa Paguntalan, Executive Director of the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc., Negros Occ. Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, Marcial Amaro, Jr., Biodiversity Management Bureau Director, Provincial Environment Management Officer Atty. Julie Ann Bedrio, Joan Nathaniel Gerangaya of Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Negros Occidental, Annabelle Plantilla, BIOFIN Project Manager, Abbie Trinidad of BIOFIN Global, and Negros Occ. Provincial Tourism Officer Cheryl Decena, among others.
Gov. Lacson said that he is very thankful for the trust and confidence that UNDP Philippines and BIOFIN Global, and he is confident that the collaboration will bring good things for Negros Occidental.
Ramachandran said that their vision at UNDP is to bridge the financing gaps for provincial biodiversity targets.
He said that UNDP envisions the said partnership with the province to address biodiversity threats at the local government unit level, enhance conservation efforts, and promote sustainable tourism that will benefit communities.
The MOU provides a framework for non-exclusive cooperation; and facilitates and strengthens the collaboration between the two parties.
In collaboration with the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PhilBio), UNDP, DENR, and BIOFIN, the province will be able to identify, access, combine, and sequence sources of biodiversity funding such as those from the national and sub-national government agencies and the private sector.
BIOFIN will also assist Negros Occidental to generate revenues through ecotourism by piloting an ecological fee that will be charged to tourists visiting the province.
Furthermore, assistance will be provided to access the trust fund created under the Energy Regulation 1-94 program, which intends to recompensate for the contribution made by the communities hosting energy resources and energy-generating facilities.*#AbanseNegrense