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Napocor, USAID partner for forest protection programs

Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - November 23, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The National Power Corp. (Napocor) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have forged a partnership to strengthen forest protection measures.

Napocor said in a statement yesterday it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with USAID to establish cooperation in strengthening the forest protection programs of each agency.

With the MOU, both agencies will be able to share their respective expertise, strengths, resources, technologies and methodologies in protecting the forest.

The agreement is highly beneficial since both parties share a common interest for the country’s natural forests, Napocor president Ma. Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita said.

“We at Napocor manage 11 watershed systems that support hydro and geothermal power facilities while USAID supports forest protection and biodiversity conservation in the country through its Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) program,” she said.

The Upper-Agno, San Roque, Angat, Caliraya-Lumot, Makiling-Banahaw, Buhi-Barit and Tiwi watershed reservations are under the sole jurisdiction of Napocor.

Magat, Pantabangan, Lake Lanao-Agus and Pulangui-Agusan-Talomo are under co-management with other government agencies.

Under the partnership, Napocor’s watershed management will also be empowered with the use of Lawin Forest and Biodiversity Protection System.

Lawin, a program developed by USAID with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, combines science-based planning, technology-aided monitoring and indigenous knowledge to protect the forests. It uses open-source technology that is accessible to communities, private sector and the government through a smartphone or tablet application.

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