German Federal Environment Ministry promotes forest protection and climate change mitigation in the Philippines

The German Federal Environment Ministry is providing support of up to EUR 4 million for the protection of the last remaining tropical mountain rainforest on Panay Island in the Philippines.

The island's unique ecosystem is facing heavy pressures: illegal logging and slash-and-burn activities are threatening the forest and its high levels of biological diversity, including endangered plant and animal species. Within the framework of the project, the partners are identifying key habitats for endangered species, improving land use planning, reforesting selected areas, and introducing sustainable agroforestry and other income-generating measures in the transition zone surrounding the protected area.

Through these activities, the biological diversity within the project area and the forest can be preserved as an important carbon sink. In addition, local people benefit from having an intact ecosystem as they adapt to the effects of climate change, which poses a growing threat to the country. The ecosystem provides nutrition, clean drinking water and other important resources to the largely indigenous population.

For many years, the Philippines and Germany have been working closely together on climate change mitigation, adaptation to the effects of climate change, and the conservation of biological diversity. Within the context of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Environment Ministry, the new project will be implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The project builds on the outcomes of another IKI project in the area. The successful approaches employed by this project will now be scaled up to cover a larger area and establish new protected areas.

Through the IKI, the German Federal Environment Ministry has promoted nine additional projects in direct cooperation with the Philippines, totalling around EUR 35 million. The Philippines are also participating in a number of transboundary projects within the region.