The National Power Corporation (Napocor) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together to strengthen the forest protection programs of each agency.
Napocor President Ma. Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita said the agreement is highly beneficial since both parties will share their respective expertise, strengths, resources, technologies and methodologies for developing the Philippine’s natural forests.
“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,” Sta. Rita said.
Napocor’s watershed management will also be empowered with the use of LAWIN Forest and Biodiversity Protection System. Lawin, a program developed by US AID 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, the private sector and the government through a smartphone or tablet application.
Signatories of the MOU were Napocor President Ma. Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita, Watershed Management Chief Emmanuel Umali, US AID Mission Director Dr. Susan K. Brems and B+WISER Chief Efrain Laureano.