MBCFI believes in participative and collaborative biodiversity conservation, and to kick start our 2017, we gave a visit and courtesy calls to our partner government agencies to strengthen our partnerships and collaborations with them. These meetings aimed at updating these concerned agencies on our accomplishments from the previous year and provide them with an overview of our plans for the current year. On January 4, 2017, MBCFI Executive Director Grace Diamante and Conservation Awareness Raising and Education (CARE) Program Manager Kyle Cielo pay a visit to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)- MIMAROPA Officer-in-Charge Regional Director Carlito Tuballa and discussed the priorities of each agencies and how both parties can cooperate for a wider scale biodiversity conservation efforts in Mindoro.
Another meeting was conducted between MBCFI’s Executive Director and National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Regional Director Roberto L. Almonte. The agenda discussed were the accreditation, filing of Free and Informed Prior Consent (FPIC) for the scientific-based research activities that MBCFI is slated to accomplish this year and updates of the activities conducted, and programs and initiatives lined-up this year which involve indigenous peoples.
Aside from strengthening the biodiversity conservation collaborations among lead agencies concerned in environment and indigenous peoples, MBCFI also recognizes the role of the Department of Education (DepEd)in our advocacies. In February 24, 2017, MBCFI Team visited the DepEd Regional Office and discussed together with the Assistant Regional Director Danilo E. Despi and Legal Officer Atty. Suzette Medina the accomplishments and plans of the foundation on its Strengthening Environmental Education for Development (SEED) Program. Moreover, to strengthen further the partnership, the parties discussed the content of the Memorandum of Agreement which will be signed on the agreed schedule of both parties.
With lots of projects lined up this year for the conservation of biodiversity in the Islands of Mindoro, MBCFI opted to collaborate with World Wildlife Fund- Philippines and D’Aboville Foundation, Inc. The collaborative meeting was held on January 16, 2017 between MBCFI’s Executive Director Grace Diamante and RESEARCH Program Manager Geoff Tabaranza, WWF’s CEO and President Jose Palma and Chrisma Salao, and DAFI’s Emmanuel Schultz at the WWF office in Quezon City. The purpose of the meeting is the implantation of programs of each organization for the Tamaraws and Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park.
Moreover, a meeting between MBCFI and Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology (MINSCAT) was held on March 8, 2017 which discussed a possible partnership in the future, specifically on:
1) Allowing the students of MINSCAT to join the MBCFI team on the conduct of researches in Mindoro as research assistants, zoologist and biologist.
2) Staff and extension officers of the state college to facilitate the conduct of trainings regarding agroforestry and bio-intensive gardening.
It was agreed upon during the meeting that the two parties shall enter to an agreement for a strong partnership for the conservation of biodiversity and upliftment of the lives of upland communities in Mindoro. The Memorandum of Agreement between two organizations is now being drafted.