On Monday, the Republic of Georgia and the Philippines signed an agreement on managing protected areas, conserving biodiversity, and promoting ecotourism development in both countries.
The agreement was signed as a Declaration of Friendship and Cooperation in Quezon City, Philippines, at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center. It was signed by Theresa Mundita Lim, Director of the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Philippines and Thelmo Cunanan Jr., Honorary Consul of Georgia in the Philippines. The signing was witnessed by Ekaterine Grigalva, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environmental Protection in Georgia. Collaborating parties include the Georgian Agency of Protected Areas (APA), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines, and the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of the Philippines.
Tourism is a major contributor to both the economies of the Republic of Georgia and the Philippines, and is experiencing growth in both markets. Even though the Philippines is much larger than Georgia in terms of both physical size and population, they share similar challenges when it comes to the impact of tourism on their livelihood. Tourism growth is hard to manage, particularly for countries that do not have all the resources to do so. For Georgia and the Philippines, who both experience this issue, this type of cooperation will allow them to work together and pool their existing resources to conserve biodiversity, better manage protected areas, and promote and support ecotourism development in their respective nations.
As per the agreement, The Georgian Agency of Protected Areas and the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Philippines will work together on the management of protected areas, ecotourism development, national parks, and conservation data. Areas of cooperation include identifying important prospective national sites, analyzing data, and training.
Theresa Mundita Lim, Director of the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Philippines, said in a statement that this collaborative effort would enhance the management of protected areas in both countries and promote ecotourism management and possibly ecotourism development. Lim also stated that this cooperation would help the Philippines get a glimpse at the work of another country for ideas and information sharing on conservation, environmental protection, education, data analysis, ecotourism development, and more.
Photo Credit: “Mount Pinatubo 20081229 01” by ChrisTomnong – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mount_Pinatubo_20081229_01.jpg#/media/File:Mount_Pinatubo_20081229_01.jpg
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