USAID assistance helped improve management effectiveness in protected areas

Photo Caption: A second round of METT assessment of the Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park was conducted, with technical assistance from USAID's B+WISER Program in July this year.

USAID's B+WISER project helped improve management effectiveness in 10 protected areas (PAs) in the Philippines. Together with the Biodiversity Management Bureau, it assisted the Protected Area Management Boards (PAMBs) and local offices of the DENR conduct baseline and second rounds of Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) assessments.

The METT assessments allow the DENR to track progress in implementing national commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Based on the results of the second METT assessments, the ten PAs which received technical assistance from USAID/B+WISER showed higher scores compared to their baseline assessment scores. The METT action plans formulated with USAID/B+WISER's assistance helped PA managers in preparing their annual work and financial plans to achieve the biological, ecological, socio-economic and cultural goals for these PAs. The project also helped in setting up sustainable fund sources that would ensure continued implementation of forest and biodiversity protection measures in the ten PAs. Moreover, the Program increased the capacity of PA managers and local DENR staff in policy formulation, policy implementation and alternative dispute management to implement their METT action plans and effectively manage their PAs. Aside from the METT assessments, the project also conducted forest cover change analyses in the PAs. Ecological assessments were done in eight of the ten PAs while climate vulnerability studies were conducted in four PAs. The results of the METT assessments and these technical studies fed into the enhanced protected area management plans.