On September 14, the Agency of Protected Areas of the Ministry of Environment Protection of Georgia and the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines signed a historic friendship and cooperation declaration. This is the first such agreement between Georgia and the Philippines and Georgia and Asia.
Under the declaration, the APA and BMB established a “sister-agency relationship” and jointly recognized the importance of promoting international cooperation in nature conservation, landscape protection, and preservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components. The two offices also committed to exchanges in the fields of protected areas and national parks management, eco-tourism, and training. They will also soon establish a “sisterhood” relationship between protected areas in the Philippines and Georgia, with the objective of sharing research and best management practices.
Director Theresa Mundita S. Lim signed the declaration on behalf of the BMB. Signing as witnesses were Georgian Honorary Consul Thelmo Cunanan Jr; Deputy Minister of Environment Protection Ekaterine Grigalava; Ms. Norma Molinyawe, Chief of the BMB’s National Parks Division; and Mr. Noel V. Gaerlan, BMB Assistant Director. Consul Cunanan will bring the documents to Georgia to be signed by APA Chairman Lasha Moistsrapishvili.
The APA-BMB Friendship Declaration is a project of the Consulate of Georgia in the Philippines, led by Consul Cunanan, who is also working with Filipino scientists and experts to help Georgia establish its first Black Sea marine protected area.