1st NIR Protected Area Management Summit

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Negros Island Region held its 1st Negros Island Region Protected Area Management Summit (NIRPAMS) last July 28-30, 2016 at the Bacolod Pavillion Hotel. About 200 participants joined the summit which included the Local Chief Executives where there are protected areas in their jurisdiction, all the Park Superintendents of  all protected areas of the NIR, provincial, city and municipal environment officers as well as representatives of Non-Government Organizations. The summit aims to find out the status of the Protected Areas in NIR, levelling off of the Municipal ENROs, and draft policies for NIR's protected areas. According to DENR-NIR In-Charge of the Strategic Communication and Initiative Services/Information Officer of PENRO Negros Occidental Ma. Theresa Robles, the Production Team of the summit initiated to go live via DENR-NIR’s Facebook page for the public to become part of the summit, by sending in their questions and concerns via the FB page. Thematic sessions during the summit also dealt with Governance in Protected Areas, Protected Area Law Enforcement Mechanisms and, Eco-tourism and other Financing Mechanisms in Protected Areas. Present were representatives of both Governors Alfredo G. Marañon Jr. and Roel Degamo of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental respectively while Mr. Ansel Cabrera, Field Manager of B+WISER,represented the United States Agency for International Development and delivered their messages during the opening day of the summit. During the Plenary Session moderated by the Managing Director of the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. Errol Gatumbato, topics and concerns discussed included the state of the protected areas and biodiversity. Other topics discussed during the plenary included Climate Change and the Philippines Commitment to the COP21, and the Comprehensive DENR Programs, Projects and Activities. One of the highlights of the summit was the sharing of field experiences from successful programs like the power of the local government unit in legislating protected areas like the story of Sagay Marine Reserve Law and the organization of the Kanlaon Green Brigade, a community based effort in Protected Areas protection, among other field experiences. (EAD/PIA)

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