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Ilonggo Network

Management planning in NNNP

The United Nations Development Programme–Global Environment Facility-supported Biodiversity Partnerships Project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is facilitating the preparation of the management plan of the Northern Negros Natural Park.

The BPP aims to enhance the conservation and protection of selected key biodiversity areas in the country, by addressing issues and concerns related to habitat degradation and fragmentation due to unsustainable agricultural practices.

NNNP is one of the eight demonstration sites of the BPP. The Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. is the DENR’s partner in implementing the project in NNNP.

The management plan is a requirement for every declared protected area in the Philippines, as mandated by the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992, or Republic Act 7586. The management plan serves as a guideline and blueprint for all activities that shall be implemented in a protected area, like the NNNP.

Any activity that is not within the scope of the management plan of a particular protected area requires the preparation of an Environmental Impact Assessment, and subsequently, the Environmental Compliance Certificate from the DENR. The Protected Area Management Board should approve the management plan to make it binding and enforceable.

The ongoing drafting of the management plan, that is being undertaken in cooperation with the Provincial Environment Management Office of Negros Occidental province and the Technical Working Group of NNNP PAMB, is very necessary because of numerous conflicting issues in the protected area, particularly on its land uses and other resource use options.

A large portion of the NNNP is already converted into permanent agriculture and settlement. The cool temperature and scenic features of NNNP have attracted several individuals to construct vacation houses and mountain resorts in the area. NNNP covers a total land area of 80,454.5 hectares and straddles 11 cities and towns of Negros Occidental.

The management plan shall provide land use options for NNNP, through the development of zoning schemes. The NIPAS guidelines provide that a protected area may be divided into management units based on its biophysical and socio-cultural and economic attributes.

This would include the identification and delineation of strict protection zone primarily for biodiversity conservation purposes. Usually, this zone includes natural and critical habitats and ecosystems, and where any activity of the people should be prohibited, except for scientific undertakings and religious ceremonies of the indigenous people.

The other zone that may be considered in a protected area is the multiple-use zone. Under this land use option, occupancy is allowed, but only limited to tenured migrants. As defined in the NIPAS guidelines, tenured migrants are those protected area occupants who have actually and continuously occupy a portion of the protected area, and solely dependent on it for subsistence.

Tenured migrants may avail of land tenure security from the DENR, through the instrument called the Protected Area Community-Based Resource Management Agreement. This land tenure covers a period of 25 years and renewable for another 25 years. The awarding of this instrument is not by individual or family, but by community organization.*

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