Participants listen intently during the GEF-7 Site-Level Inception Workshop at The Oriental Hotel, Legazpi City. (PIA photo)

Legazpi City, Albay  — Pili, the local tree that has become the popular product of the Bicol region has received innovation assistance from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The project called “Implementation of the National Framework in Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) of Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge in the Philippines” is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) 7

The GEF-7 extends funding to developing countries and countries with economies in transition such as the Philippines, with a total of 38.25 million US dollars set aside per country per focal area.

Sorsogon was included in the project since 63% of the total Philippine output of pili, internationally known as the Manila elemi tree (Canarium ovatum), come from the province.

Sorsogon was identified during the GEF-7 Site-Level Inception Workshop in Legazpi but other target provinces in the region will follow after evaluation of both UNDP and DENR.

Any other province chosen will be representative of the whole of Bicol region as the UNDP is implementing a holistic approach. (Jojo Mangahis)