“Currently, the operation of certain protected areas in our country does not have a general management planning strategy (GMPS), as signed in Rule 10 of the 2008-26 DENR 2008-26 By-Law[2], that is why even the current protected areas are still devastated by destructive human activities such as mining, stone and land extraction, fishing, agriculture and general non-compliance with environmental legislation. This is why its SAPA has been suspended because it is contrary to the law of the National Protected Areas Protection System (NIPAS). “Greenpeace is very concerned about this development and we are concerned that this will do nothing but open up protected areas for exploitation. The lifting of the moratorium on special authorizations will not protect people or make them vulnerable to poverty, but will expose our indigenous peoples to further abuse and oppression. “In some protected areas, authorized human activities are not listed, as all activities are subject to a clear impact assessment. The relaunch of SAPA runs counter to the general spirit or objectives of NIPAS and will enrich only a few that would exacerbate current environmental problems and poverty in the Philippines. The Sapa aims to “provide access and economic opportunities to indigenous peoples, migrant communities and other interest groups” in protected areas. In accordance with the 2007-17 by-law signed by Angelo Reyes, then Minister of the Environment, Sapa authorizes the use of protected areas for agroforestry, ecotourism facilities, campsites, communication and electricity facilities, irrigation canals, aquaculture, weather monitoring facilities and other scientific monitoring facilities. [1] newsinfo.inquirer.net/987731/denr-opens-protected-areas-to-special-private-use [2] Administrative regulations to denr 2008-26 www.greenpeace.org/static/planet4-philippines-stateless/2019/05/dao-2008-26_114.pdf [3] www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri1993/jul1993/gr_101083_1993.html But even with the granting of a sapa, a protected area retains its status as such, with zoning rules to ensure its regulated and limited use, said Meriden Maranan of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Office of Biodiversity Management (BMB). Palaui Island in Cagayan province, one of more than 200 protected areas in the country. “Let us not let greed dominate our constitutional right to a balanced and healthy environment. Our protected areas belong to the Filipino people and we are only administrators of this beautiful place that is our country.

It is up to future generations that they appreciate and still appreciate natural places. It is thanks to our children, and we sincerely hope that DENR will remember this. Individuals, groups and businesses can again apply for a special use agreement for protected areas (Sapa) after the suspension of the program was lifted, Environment Minister Roy Cimatu said on Friday. “It is important to note that human activity remains permitted in the identified buffer zones of protected areas, as long as they do not harm the integrity of the strict protection zone. The Sapa is an instrument that is issued to individuals and groups and allows them to productively use a protected area identified by Act 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992. Cimatu stated that Sapa also wanted to fully exploit the protected areas, in accordance with the principles of sustainable development and biodiversity conservation, by guiding them for their appropriate zoning. Vince Cinches, political activist, Southeast Asia from Greenpeace – Philippines [email protected]] > | “Approval also serves as a regulatory tool for increased use of resources beyond sustainability and to increase local economic opportunities, such as .B increase in local employment through ecotourism facilities,” said Mr. Cimatu. DENR suspended the Sapas edition in 2011 due to the lack of a standard rate for the “development tax” imposed

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