I am very proud of the performance of the organization for 2017. The key enabler for any endeavor is the people who deliver the results according to the Vision and Mission set by the whole organization.   The detailed results in the succeeding paragraphs is a testimony for the hard work that was done to deliver and we all know there is still a lot of work ahead but the will to succeed is there.  Our promise to Mindoro and beyond is to make conservation real, with the Biodiversity Centre and the products of our Research, Mission and Care programs.  Watch us as we do this!  Onwards to the next decades of MBCFI!

We took the challenge in sustaining our conservation efforts in an even stronger and more reliable organization complemented with some key hires of 1 Program Manager, 1 Finance and Admin Manager, 4 Project Officers and 1 Support staff. MBCFI has been reaccredited by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro. After impartial scrutiny and verification with the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC) standards of good governance, management and accountability, MBCFI received its accreditation in the same year.

We are now a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), among the six (6) Philippine NGOs admitted by the union. The IUCN is a membership union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organizations providing public, private and non-governmental organizations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

We have introduced a new tool in monitoring and evaluating our targets. New financial software donated by Netsuites is now in place.  Our policies and procedures manual has been revised and cascaded.

To complement the above, allow me to share our 2017 highlights per program:

 

RESEARCH Program (Resources, Environment, Species and Ecological Assessment for Responsible Change)

Site Profiling and Conservation Management Planning

Technical assistance was given to Naujan Lake Protected Area Management Board and Office in the conduct of the annual Asian Waterbird Census where a total of 6,932 individuals composed of thirty-six (36) species of waterbirds was recorded.  The most abundant species recorded were Tufted Ducks (Aythya fuligula) with 4,833 individuals followed by 1,351 individuals of Whiskered Terns (Chlidonias hybrida).

A Memorandum of Agreement between the DENR – MIMAROPA Region and the MBCFI was forged for the establishment and management planning of the NLNP under NIPAS of the Philippines, as provided for in RA 7586, which would include the following:

1.1. Preparation of the following required documents for the issuance of the Presidential Proclamation to declare the NLNP as a protected area under the NIPAS, to wit:

1.1.1. Final result of the Survey and Registration of Protected Area Occupants (SRPAO);

1.1.2. Protected Area Suitability Assessment (PASA) report;

1.1.3. Finalized boundary of the NLNP presented in thematic maps, including management zones and the proposed management category of the protected area;

1.1.4. Initial Protected Area Plan (IPAP);

1.1.5. Reports on the conduct of public consultations with relevant stakeholders and preparation of proceeding for the declaration of the NLNP under the NIPAS;

1.1.6. Endorsement from concerned institutions, such as Local Government Units (LGUs) covering the NLNP, concerned national government agencies and other relevant stakeholders;

1.1.7. Draft of the proposed Presidential Proclamation for declaration of the NLNP as component of the NIPAS.

An initial total of 82 wildlife species were recorded during the biodiversity survey in Mt. Halcon, composed of 51 birds, 6 bats, 4 rodents, 7 amphibians and 14 reptile species.  Species highlights include records of several island endemics such as Mindoro Scops Owl, Mindoro Racket-tail, Mindoro Pallid Flying Fox, Mindoro Climbing Rat, Mindoro Climbing Rat, Mindoro Tree Frog, Mindoro Forest Dragon and Bangon Monitor Lizard. Moreover, thirty (30) deputized Wildlife Enforcement Officers (WEO) were trained in identifying wildlife & resource use indicators as well as proposed transect lines along the slopes of Mt. Halcon.

We participated in the annual Tamaraw count together with the DENR and other volunteers. A total of 401 individuals of Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) were recorded in Mts.Iglit-Baco National Park through Simultaneous Multi-Vantage Point Count Method.

 One hundred sixty eight wildlife species were recorded in Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park, composed of 84 plant species including endemics such as Begonia mindorensis, Dillenia philippinensis, and Ficus ulmifolia; 53 bird species including threatened Mindoro endemics such as Black-hooded Coucal, Mindoro Hawk Owl, Mindoro Hornbill and Mindoro Racket-tail; 11 mammal species including the Tamaraw, Mindoro Warty Pig and Mindoro Stripe-faced Fruit Bat; 9 amphibians including the Mindoro litter frog and Mindoro tree frog; and 11 reptiles such as the Bangon monitor lizard and Mindoro narrow-disked gecko. The biodiversity survey in Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park also recorded 244 terrestrial arthropod species.

BMS / Wildlife Species Identification Training in Apo Reef Natural Park was conducted where Don Geoff Tabaranza facilitated the training on bird species identification, while MBCFI trustee Dr. Leticia Afuang facilitated the training on herpetofauna species identification.

 

 MISSION Program (Mindoro Island Symbolic Species Icons of Nature)

Community formation and strengthening

MBCFI provides assistance to the communities in its priority sites.  Assistance includes capacity building activities, alternative livelihood training and opportunities, habitat restoration and woodlot establishment. Technical assistance to Peoples’ Organizations and Bantay Kalikasan Federation was provided in the conduct of their regular meetings, and Policy, System and Procedure (PSP) formulation. With MBCFIs strengthened partnership with these POs through conservation agreements, the efficiency on programs and projects implementation also increases to wit: 

  • 1 People’s Organization (PO) registered in SEC
  • 2 POs DOLE Registered
  • 9 POs accredited by their respective municipalities
  • 4 Nurseries containing 18,200 native tree wildlings
  • 20 hectares of woodlot and restorations sites established 25 hectares maintained
  • 3-year development planning and 1-year action planning for 3 People’s Organization (PO) have been formulated together with the PO members composed of Mangyans
  • 2 Barangay Development Plans have been drafted for presentation and approval by their respective municipalities.
  • 12 capacity building programs on forest restoration and protection were given to 525 individuals mostly composed of Mangyans
  • 9 alternative livelihood trainings have been given to more than 200 community members
  • 6 vermi beds have been established
  • 2 road clean-ups have been done
  • 69 Wildlife Enforcement Officers have been deputized by the DENR through our facilitation

CARE Program (Conservation Awareness Raising and Education)

IEC Program

The Communication Awareness Raising and Education or CARE Program of MBCFI aimed at increasing the knowledge and awareness of different communities and stakeholders in protecting and conserving the biodiversity of Mindoro through formal education, special events and different media. Here is the summary of activities conducted in 2017:

  • 4 Conservation-related events, reached more than 2,000 individuals
  • 7 Speaking engagements, with more than 1,500 attendees
  • 1 National campaign in partnership with Nestea, with 10,959 online posts
  • 1 International exhibit, 1 national and 4 local set-ups reaching more than 3,000 individuals
  • 2 Teachers’ Training
  • 1 National Wildlife Quiz
  • 8,100 information materials produced and distributed

On policies and advocacies:

Philippine Red List Committee / Working Groups

Three (3) Philippine Red List Committee meetings were conducted in 2017 aimed to finalize the Philippine national list of threatened fauna. MBCFI trustee and vice president Dr. Juan Carlos Gonzalez is a member of the PRLC and the chair of the Birds Working Group with MBCFI RESEARCH program manager Don Geoff Tabaranza as vice-chair.  MBCFI trustee Dr. Leticia Afuang is vice-chair of the Herpetofauna Working Group.  The DENR Administrative Order is projected to be approved in 2018.

Philippine Birdwatching Guidelines

 The DENR Technical Bulletin #2017-02 was finally approved on 13 January 2017.  MBCFI RESEARCH program manager Don Geoff Tabaranza chaired the Ad Hoc Technical Working Group composed of ornithologists, conservationists, tour operators, and representatives of birdwatching and bird photography groups. MBCFI trustee and vice president Dr. Juan Carlos Gonzalez was also a member of the technical working group which developed the guidelines since April 29, 2015.

Technical Review of Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUP)

MBCFI provided technical assistance in reviewing the municipal comprehensive land use plans of 3 Municipalities of San Teodoro, Baco, and Bulalacao and 1 City – Calapan in Oriental Mindoro

MBCFI received core funding support from the Malampaya Joint Venture Partners with a total amount of Php 20,410,866.70 in 2017. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ counterpart fund amounting to Php 850,000.00 for our efforts in Naujan Lake National Park.  The growing network of MBCFI was crucial in this year’s success.

I thank our funders, implementing partners, trustees, staff and volunteers for your unwavering support and trust in what we do and what we can still do in the future together.

This has been a year of significant progress for MBCFI and we commit to sustain our conservation efforts or even do more with less as we turn 10 this year.