bdcor1(Above from left to right: table seat) EMBC Inception Workshop in Butuan with DENR-13 OIC ARD Maritess Ocampo, UNDP Programme analyst Tess Yap DENR PPS OIC Dir. Glenn Noble, DENR FMB Assist. Dir. Edna Nuestro, BD Corridor Project National PM Dr. Jean Caleda and EMBC PM Tanya Conlu.

bdcor2(Above from left to right) EMBC Inception Workshop in Davao with EMBC PM Tanya Conlu, DENR-BMB BPKMD chief Nancy Corpuz, DENR-BMB AD Amy Ortiz, DENR-11 RED Bagani Fidel Evasco, BD Corridor Project National PM Dr. Jean Caleda, UNDP Programme analyst Tess Yap, DENR-11 EMBC focal Myrna Arbiol and DENR-13 EMBC focal Josephine Arajao.


Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity
Corridor holds Site Inception
Workshops for Regions 11, 13


MANILA, 22 March 2022 – The Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor (EMBC) of the DENR-UNDP/GEF Biodiversity Corridor Project recently conducted back-to-back site inception workshops for both Davao and Caraga regions, in time for the beginning of nationwide blended face-to-face and online meetings amid a waning pandemic.

EMBC in cooperation with the DENR Foreign Assisted and Special Projects Service (FASPS), the DENR Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) and the National Project Management Unit (NPMU) of the BD Corridor Project conducted the onsite inception workshop in Butuan City for Region 13 (Caraga) on March 14-15 and in Davao City for Region 11 (Davao) on March 17-18.

Scheduled for Thursday (24 March 2022) will be the second BD Corridor Project Inter-Agency Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting. The 2nd TWG meeting which will tackle Project updates and progress including the recent EMBC inception workshops.

Caraga Workshop Leg

For the Butuan leg, among the guest speakers and resource persons were DENR Forest Management Bureau (FMB) Assistant Director Edna Nuestro, DENR-13 OIC Assistant Regional Director (ARD) Maritess Ocampo, who is also EMBC Deputy Project Director, BD Corridor National Project Manager Dr. Mary Jean Caleda, EMBC Corridor Project Manager Tanya Conlu, and UNDP Climate Action Programme Team Programme Analyst Ma. Theresa Espino-Yap.

DENR Policy and Planning Service (PPS) OIC Director Glenn Marcelo Noble, who is also National Project TWG chair, delivered the closing remarks for the Butuan leg of the workshop held in Balanghai Hotel.

Dir. Noble emphasized that the Eastern Mindanao workshop was able to tackle the Project’s mid-term and end-stage results framework. To note, the BD Corridor Project aims to, among others, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and eventually halt biodiversity loss, while at the same time ultimately deliver to the communities, who will benefit the most with equitable access and rights to economic resources through biodiversity-friendly enterprises.

Davao Workshop Leg

For the Davao leg, among the guest speakers were DENR-11 Regional Executive Director (RED) Bagani Fidel Evasco and DENR Foreign Assisted and Special Projects Service Assistant Director Ma. Sabina Cruz, as well as DENR-FMB’ AD Nuestro, BD Corridor Project’s Dr. Caleda, EMBC’s Conlu and UNDP’s Espino-Yap.

DENR Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) Assistant Director Amelita Ortiz, who is also the National Project TWG co-chair, delivered the closing remarks for the Davao leg of the workshop held in Ritz Hotel at Garden Oases.

AD Ortiz thanked UNDP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), as well as the Project’s partners “for being a part of this thrilling journey especially as we begin firming up our corridor alliances, as well as conservation clusters, here in Eastern Mindanao.”

Project Partners

For the partners, AD Ortiz cited the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Housing Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Agriculture (DA) specifically its Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the Local Government Units (LGUs), private sector, civil society organizations and local communities.

“We have so much work to do in the next months and years, as the Project starts to gather much needed data, and form our Corridor alliances and clusters on the ground,” AD Ortiz added. “We have a huge challenge ahead of us as we attempt to converge and take action to integrate not just ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning processes and plans, but most importantly and ultimately, generate and ensure multiple benefits for all.”

For the DENR offices, she cited “the importance of your expertise, knowledge, and networks, (as) we will rely on you to help guide us, provide the necessary data to set baselines, coordinate and collaborate with key influencers and stakeholders.”

Workshop Outputs

For both Butuan and Davao legs of the workshop, the participants included those from different Project partner agencies (DA, NCIP, etc.) coming from their respective regional government offices including the DENR divisions and Protected Area Superintendents (PASUs), as well as NGOs, academe and business sectors.

Following the plenary presentations, organizers divided the participants in three breakout sub-groups to discuss baseline and mid-term amendments or suggestions for the Project indicators, as well as the implementation of the annual workplans for 2022-2023 and towards the end of the six-year Project and its monitoring and evaluation plan, and the contribution of the participants coming from their respective offices and organizations for the successful implementation of the Project. (Mitch R. Confesor)