PBCFI, NFEFI ink conservation partnership agreement
BY: ERROL ABADA GATUMBATO
In what could be a most timely event during the celebration of the Environment Week in Negros Occidental, the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc, and the Negros Forest and Ecological Foundation, Inc forge a memorandum of understanding to further strengthen their partnership in advancing species and habitat protection, conservation, and recovery in Negros Island. PBCFI is a national non-government organization promoting conservation in biodiversity rich regions in the country while NFEFI is one of the local pioneering conservation NGOs in the Philippines.
The NFEFI, jointly with the PBCFI, is currently operating one of the most successful conservation breeding centers in the country that houses at least 18 endemic species of the Philippines which are already threatened to extinction in the wild. Under the recently signed partnership agreement, this breeding center, located at the NFEFI compound in South Capitol Road, Bacolod City, will be known as the “Threatened Species Conservation and Education Center”, because it is also aimed in raising the awareness and appreciation of the general public on the different endemic species of the Philippines, particularly the endemic species of Negros and the West-Visayan Bio-geographic Zone, in general. The center is also intended for conservation research, education, and personnel training on biodiversity
With the support of numerous funding partners from the US, UK, Germany, and other European Countries, PBCFI provides financial, technical and managerial assistance in the operations of the center to make sure that it operates in highly scientific, professional, and effective procedures relative to the purposes by which it was established. The center has already successfully breed several species, like the critically endangered Visayan spotted deer (Rusa alfredi) and Visayan warty pig (Sus cebifrons negrinus), that are now ready for reintroduction back to their natural habitats. One objective of the center is to reintroduce successfully breed species in vacant habitats in Negros.
The agreement, signed by former Mount Kanla-on Natural Park Superintendent and currently the PBCFI managing director, Errol Gatumbato and NFEFI president and executive director Paul Lizares, manifested the continuing support of PBCFI in strengthening the organizational capacities of the NFEFI in advancing and sustaining the delivery of conservation outcomes, particularly in program and project development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation, as well as in resource mobilization and generation.
The partnership agreement between the PBCFI and NFEFI further manifest their intention to establish and make operational the Biodiversity Conservation Center within the NFEFI compound, which will serve as biodiversity information, education, and training center, NFEFI administrative center, and as the hub of PBCFI West Visayas Regional Biodiversity Programme. It will include, among others, library, audio-visual room, and display area.
To ensure the implementation of the partnership agreement, a management steering committee, composed of equal representatives from both PBCFI and NFEFI, shall be formed. The committee will prepare and implement business and marketing plans to guarantee the sustainability of the center and other on-site conservation measures that shall be implemented by the parties in the agreement.
The development of the breeding center was originally conceptualized by William Oliver, one of the PBCFI founding trustees along with Gerry Ledesma, one of the NFEFI founding officers.
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