The Philippine forests—one of the world’s greatest biodiversity areas—gained the attention of international community as Arcadia/BirdLife Conservation Partnership granted $100,000 to Haribon Foundation to be given within five years.
With shared aims to strengthen their dynamic network of high impact self-sustaining conservation, both non-government organizations (NGOs) are working effectively with the community and government to better protect key species, sites and habitats in their own countries.
As the partner of BirdLife in the Philippines, Haribon is working under the principles of community empowerment and scientific excellence in protecting biodiversity and our natural resources for over forty years.
“This project is significant because it supports capacity building and recognizes NGO sustainability is essential to conservation of biodiversity,” said Haribon’s CEO Maria Belinda de la Paz.
The Arcadia/BirdLife Conservation Partnership project will cover Mt. Irid-Angelo, a “Forest of Hope” site, which is one of the biggest expanses of forest in the Philippines. It is the main watershed of Metro Manila and serves as the the monitoring, research and conservation center of two globally threatened species—the Spoon-billed Sandpiper and wintering Chinese Crested Tern.
The Spoon-billed Sandpiper or Calidris pygmaea is an attractive little bird with a distinctive spoon-shaped bill; this sandpiper has winter plumage as pretty as its breeding colors. This species is listed as Critically Endangered because it has an extremely small population that is undergoing a significant decrease.
Chinese Crested Tern or Sterna bernsteini is a poorlyknown species, recorded breeding recently at only two sites on the eastern coast of China—in Zhejiang and Fujian provinces. Outside the breeding season, this species is seen in Indonesia, Sarawak, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines (BirdLife International 2001).
This qualifies as Critically Endangered because it is estimated to have a tiny population, which is in decline owing to egg-collection, disturbance and the loss of coastal wetlands. This species is largish, slender bird has a diagnostic black-tipped yellow bill.
An initial phase of the fund has been operational in 10 participating organizations of the BirdLife Partnership since April 2009 and has been very successful in helping protect and conserve important biodiversity and ecosystems throughout the world while improving the capacity for conservation of the 10 participating civil society organizations (BirdLife partners).
Entering the project’s second phase, the Arcadia/BirdLife Conservation Partnership Fund will support 12 NGOs, which includes Haribon. The grant shall be used to strengthen capacity and deliver specific conservation outcomes through the preparation of institutional strengthening and conservation action plans. These plans are expected to address targets on conservation impact, NGO sustainability and stability.