The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), awarded Php 288 million ($5.1 million) in grants to thirteen civil society organizations for the promotion of biodiversity conservation and natural climate solutions in the Philippines.
USAID Philippines Acting Deputy Mission Director Jennifer Crow, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Marilou Erni, and Gerry Roxas Foundation Executive Director Glen de Castro formally awarded the grants at a ceremony held on August 30.
Each of the following CSOs received a grant valued at around Php 16 million ($300,000) to implement three-year conservation and climate projects that will help communities adopt environmentally friendly practices, engage the public and private sectors, and establish local enterprises that support conservation: ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc., Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc., Mount Apo Foundation, Inc., NGOs for Fisheries Reform, PATH Foundation Philippines, Inc., Philippine Association for the Intellectual Development, Inc., Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc., Philippine Eagle Foundation, Inc., Sentro Para sa Ikauunlad ng Katutubong Agham at Teknolohiya, Xavier Science Foundation, Inc., and Zoological Society of London – Philippines.
Two grantees were each awarded Php 56 million ($1 million) to support disability-inclusive climate actions. The Oscar M. Lopez Center for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management Foundation, Inc. will develop a dictionary of climate change-related terms in Filipino Sign Language, while Humanity & Inclusion Philippines will meaningfully engage people with disabilities in climate change governance and improve their resilience to the impacts of climate change.
All projects will also support the Philippine government in conserving and restoring areas that need urgent protection across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, and in developing more effective and inclusive natural resource governance.
“These grants showcase USAID’s longstanding commitment to partner with the Philippine government and local organizations in protecting natural resources and improving how these resources, and the places where they are found, are governed,” said USAID Philippines Acting Deputy Mission Director Jennifer Crow. “We also hope that these projects will generate local livelihoods and enterprises that uphold the value of the natural and cultural assets of the Philippines and improve the lives of local communities, including indigenous peoples.”
Through its Investing in Sustainability and Partnerships for Inclusive Growth and Regenerative Ecosystems (INSPIRE) project, USAID promotes natural resource conservation and ecosystem and community resilience by supporting civil society organizations in advocating for and participating in good natural resource governance.
“The DENR values the support given by USAID to all sectors in order to deliver critical biodiversity and sustainable landscapes targets,” DENR Undersecretary Erni said. “We trust that closer cooperation and collaboration between government and civil society through INSPIRE will increase and expand investments for conservation.”