Biodiversity Partnership Project-A A +A
As I See It
Thursday, September 5, 2013
IT WAS a timely celebration for World Tourism Month. The gathering of LGU partners on Sept. 3 at Nature’s Village Resort in Talisay was a commitment to support the Biodiversity Partnership Project of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Board of Investments. Talisay, Silay, Sagay, Victorias, San Carlos, Calatrava, Toboso, Don Salvador Benedicto, Murcia, and E.B. Magalona representatives were there for a Consultation Cum Capability Building Training on Investments Promotion.
The theme of the alliance is ‘Encouraging Biodiversity-Friendly Businesses and Market-Led Opportunities’. The Department of Trade and Industry as a component partner of the Biodiversity Partnership Project is tasked to popularize biodiversity in the key biodiversity areas in the biogeographic regions. Biodiversity is a term used to describe the variety of life found in any one ecosystem. The biodiversity of an ecosystem is measured by counting two things: the total number of living things and the number of different species present. Scientists have identified around 1.5 million different species in the world.
DTI-BOI shall assist responsible pilot LGUs to identify and address key barriers to businesses and investments and also to promote BD-Friendly Businesses in its local investment portfolio. LGUs will also be assisted to develop ordinances and programs to attract investments in the pilot sites. I saw some interesting figures there like former Gov. Lito Coscoluella, Mayor Araceli Somosa, Eroll Gatumbato, Sonia Sarrosa, Agnes Villar, and Ramon Uy, Jr. The first phase was consultation workshop and this was done in the previous weeks.
Our task was focused on the second phase, Capability Building Training on Investments Promotion focusing on the Local Investments and Incentives Code. The third phase is monitoring activities. We were told that in Negros Occidental there are still ten LGUs that were not able to submit their LIIC. My friend, Rebecca Rascon (DTI provincial director), said that the purpose of the gathering is to make us aware of the importance of conservation and protection of our web of life for economic sustainability.
The bloody topic was on the ‘Updates on the Local Investments and Incentives Code’. Some LGUs have already finished their LIIC but not properly streamlined with biodiversity. BD projects could be in the category of new, expansion or modernization. It could be in the form of micro, small, medium or large enterprises. The next meeting to fine tune LIICs will be on Oct. 15-16. Each LGU is mandated by the Philippine Constitution to come up with its LIIC Board headed by the local chief executive.
Biodiversity needs protection but this could be used also for economic promotion. Ecosystems contain complex relationships between the living things within them. Some species have essential roles within the ecosystem. They could be food for others or agents for pollinating plants. Conservationists believe that we should protect biodiversity by protecting and managing habitats for future generation. This concept is known as stewardship.
The LGU partners is Negros Occidental have their focus at the identified key biodiversity areas in the North National Park. In our NNP, deforestation has taken place largely as a result of economic pressures for more agricultural land. Deforestation has serious implications for the environment (as carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere) and can also cause the degradation of topsoil, increasing the risk of rivers silting up and flooding.
We really need strong partnership and we can only be strong partners if we know our economy, technology and our vision is to save biodiversity. Let us have faith in our cause. Faith is what keeps us trying when others would have given up.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 05, 2013.