Manila, May 23, 2023—In celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22, the United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), awarded Php240 million ($4.3 million) in grants to help civil society organizations address the unique climate challenges faced by local communities across the Philippines.
U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson joined Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Juan Miguel Cuna and Gerry Roxas Foundation Executive Director Glen de Castro to announce the 11 grants that will support efforts to conserve biodiversity, protect wildlife, and implement natural climate solutions. The grants were provided under USAID’s Investing in Sustainability and Partnership for Inclusive Growth and Regenerative Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Project.
The recipient organizations are BaiAni Foundation, CBCP Caritas Filipinas Foundation, Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, Diliman Science Research Foundation, Impl. Project Philippines, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, Mabuwaya Foundation, Surigao Economic Development and Microfinance Foundation, Tanggol Kalikasan, University of Santo Tomas Research and Endowment Foundation, and Xavier Agricultural Extension Services Foundation.
The Mabuwaya Foundation plans to use their grant to protect the intact forests of the Sierra Madre mountain range in Cagayan by addressing illegal logging and conversion of forest lands for agricultural use. Xavier Agricultural Extension Service Foundation’s grant will strengthen community-based initiatives to restore and protect the mangrove forests and other marine ecosystems in Zamboanga Sibugay.
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Carlson affirmed civil society organizations’ critical role in translating conservation agreements into actions.
“Through these grants, we are advancing sustainable local solutions that will help communities address the unique climate challenges they face,” Ambassador Carlson said. “These grants contribute to our shared goal of a more resilient future where both people and nature thrive.”
“We are one with USAID and INSPIRE in the quest for an increased and a more meaningful participation and engagement of all sectors [of society]. DENR is grateful for the continued partnership and we look forward to deepening our engagement as we work toward creating a more equitable world for all,” DENR Undersecretary Cuna said.
For more than six decades, USAID has partnered with the Philippine government and local organizations to conserve the country’s rich biodiversity and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Since 2021, USAID has provided more than Php620 million ($11.7 million) to civil society organizations to amplify their efforts in achieving environmental sustainability and uplifting the lives of Filipino communities.