Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience

Background

Philippine biodiversity is among the most endangered in the world and the country is marked as the third-most vulnerable to climate change. Fueled by pressure for rapid economic growth, the increasing demand for food, energy and other goods has destabilized watershed ecosystems and destroyed natural habitats, resulting in alarming biodiversity loss.

Climate change will exacerbate watershed degradation, place biodiversity under more stress, intensify natural disasters, and undermine economic development. Hence, the B+WISER program aims to address the driving forces behind rapid loss of biodiversity and depletion of watersheds using an integrated ecosystems approach.

The five-year program designed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Technical Working Group in collaboration with USAID focuses on conservation and protection of seven protected areas in the Philippines. Each area has its own typology depending on its characteristics. It could be a watershed, protected area, REDD+ demonstration site, or areas for payment for enviromental services' schemes, among others.

Objectives

  1. Conserve biodiversity in forest areas
  2. Reduce forest degradation in targeted priority watersheds
  3. Build capacity to conserve biodiversity, manage forests and support low emissions development
  4. Increase capacity for disaster risk management in highly vulnerable areas

Highlights

The components ICRAF is working on are the following:

  1. Formulation of REDD+ safeguards
  2. Development of a greenhouse-gas inventory for the land use, land-use change and forestry sector
  3. Assistance in the mainstreaming climate change into biodiversity planning
  4. Identification of research and development agenda for biodiversity, watersheds and climate change
  5. Coordination of Payment for Ecosystem Services Technical Working Group