Japanese Embassy 's Minister for Economic Affairs , Akio Isomata , and Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, Ramon Paje, delivered inspiring messages during the launching ceremony of the Forestland Management Project on May 29, 2012 at the Aguila Hall, Bulwagan Center, NInoy Aquino parks and Wildlife Bureau in Quezon City. The event was witnessed by Governors of the provinces of Quirino and Iloilo.
On September 27, 2011, Exchange of Notes for Japan's Yen loan project “the Forestland Management Project”(FMP) was signed in Tokyo, Japan, between Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, Toshinao Urabe, and Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, Albert Del Rosario. The signing event was witnessed by His Excellency Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan and His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines.
The FMP is funded by an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan from the Japanese Government amounting to 9.244 billion yen (approximately 5.084 billion pesos) through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This Project is in line with the Government of Japan's objective of assisting developing countries in enhancing various policy measures against climate change. The FMP forms a part of Japan's support for developing countries on climate change up to 2012, the Fast-Track Finance, announced earlier.
The FMP aims to strengthen forestland management utilizing the participatory approach. The activities for the project will include ecological restoration of degraded forestland, enhancement of upland economic development, establishment of improved watershed management systems, among others, and will benefit three critical river basins namely the Upper Magat and Cagayan, the Pampanga in Luzon and the Jalaur in the Visayas. It also endeavors to improve the socio-economic conditions and quality of life of upland dwellers through more productive rehabilitation and utilization of natural resources.
The FMP reaffirms the Government of Japan's continued commitment to extending cooperation in achieving sustainable development in the Philippines and is consistent with the Philippine Development Plan's goal of conservation, protection and rehabilitation of the environmental resources. With regard to the issue of climate change, Japan is continuously cooperating with other nations, including the Philippines, for the progress of international negotiations towards the establishment of a fair and effective framework and agreement on ambitious targets with participation of all major economies
In his speech, Minister Isomata stressed: “Tackling the climate change issue is an inevitable responsibility for all the countries in the world. As strategic partners and responsible members of the international community, I believe that Japan and the Philippines will also be able to strengthen cooperation in this pressing global issue”.
For many decades, Japan, as the top ODA donor in the Philippines, has been a long-standing partner of the Philippines in the protection and rehabilitation of environment and natural resources through sustainable forest management.
Speech of Min. Akio Isomata