MANILA, Philippines — The government has pushed through with a plan to develop public-private partnership (PPP) projects in protected areas in the country.

The PPP Center and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB) recently inked a memorandum of agreement for PPPs in protected areas.

Protected areas are identified portions of land and water set aside by reason of their unique physical and biological significance, managed to enhance biological diversity and protected against destructive human exploitation.

The MOA aims to ensure that the use of protected areas in developing PPPs is consistent with the principles of biological diversity and sustainable development.

The DENR is designated to issue special-use agreements in protected areas (SAPA) for business ventures that are ecological and environmentally sustainable such as ecotourism, among others.

The PPP Center said it is crucial to have clear policies laid out for developing projects especially in critical sectors such as the country’s protected areas.

Further, the agreement confirms the PPP Center’s support to building the capacities of the DENR in structuring and designing PPPs in protected areas, with main focus on resilience, safety, and conservation and protection of protected areas and natural resources.

Currently, the DENR-BMB is working with the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), a United Nations Development Program-managed global collaborative partnership, on addressing biodiversity finance challenges and designing finance solutions for implementation in biodiversity conservation in the country.

The MOA is anchored on the implementation and compliance with the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act, as amended by the Expanded NIPAS Act of 2018.

BY Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star ) – August 15, 2021 – 12:00am