USAID’s new biodiversity project will protect Cleopatra’s Needle in Puerto Princesa City as a
critical habitat for wildlife (Photo credit: Samual Villanueva/Center for Sustainability PH).

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)  has launched a P1-billion project to sustain biodiversity and protect natural resources of the Philippines.

The Sustainable Interventions for Biodiversity, Oceans, and Landscapes (Sibol) will be carried out with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, USAID said.

“Through SIBOL, the USAID is pleased to support the Philippines’ efforts to conserve the country’s rich biodiversity while improving the livelihoods of Filipinos whose incomes depend upon these natural resources,” USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II said.

The Research Triangle Institute International, a US nonprofit, will lead the project and provide assistance and research in a variety of sectors in the Philippines, USAID said.

Juan Miguel Cuna, DENR undersecretary for policy, planning and international affairs said ecosystem integrity and human well-being were among key priorities of the department.

“We look forward to partnering with USAID in advancing our goals of environmental sustainability and strengthening DENR’s capacity to combat environmental criminals, enhance the adaptive capacities of communities against natural disasters, as well as improve the economic conditions of affected local people,” he said. 

USAID said it has provided more than P5 billion to the Philippines for biodiversity and protection of landscapes and seascapes since 2014. Laimae Chua