The ultimate convergence initiative A major strength of the DENR is its ability to establish linkages with other government agencies and private partners. A testament to such strong convergence is a model project called Balik Probinsiya, which has the DENR working closely with three other departments: Agriculture, Agrarian Reform and Social Welfare and Development, and the provincial government. READ MORE A constant juggling actDismantling of Illegal Fish Cage structures ALIBIJABAN WILDERNESS AREA
The Philippines, as one of the 18 megabiodiverse countries, harbors more biological diversity than any other country in the world. But the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in one of its policy papers, also noted that we are also under constant threat to unsustainable resource use, overexploitation and population pressure.

As a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Philippines upholds its commitment to conserve biodiversity, sustain use of natural resources and fairly and equitably share the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources.


Ecotourism, as one of the variances of sustainable tourism, was designed to give importance to biodiversity as the major attraction site. Simply put, “the responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” It is about “uniting conservation, communities and sustainable travel.”

Region 4A, covering the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal) has taken the challenge to raise awareness on the potentials of protected areas as a sustainable tourism destinations and seeks to engage the Filipino people and make them partners in understanding and protecting the natural wealth that Mother nature has bestowed in the region.

The campaign Ecotourism: In the heart of the country. In the heart of every Filipino is a reflection of Region 4-A’s location in the upper portion of the map, in the heart of the Philippines and its commitment to share and the benefits of responsibly travelling in natural areas that that conserve the environment for tourists and locals alike.


In this site, DENR Region 4-A has highlighted protected areas and key biodiversity areas under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act, enacted in 1992 as the Philippines’ response to the global call for sustainable development.

More than 200 national parks, watersheds, game and wildlife shelters, and bird sanctuaries, and wildlife refuges were placed under NIPAS under the umbrella of the DENR.

Two years later, a grant was given to NIPAS by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in 10 priority sites, representing the country’s 15 biogeographic zones.

These areas include the Batanes Islands (a major flyway for migratory birds); the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (the largest block of original virgin forest remaining in the country), Mt. Apo (the country’s highest summit), Mt. Kanlaon (an active volcano rich in plant and animal life), Mt. Kitanglad (the country’ssecond highest peak and location of three important habitats), Apo Reef (the largest atoll-formed reef in the country), Subic-Bataan (a large virgin forest close to the capital), Agusan Marsh (an important wetland that harbors migratory birds and a major water catch basin), Siargao Island (location of a pristine coral reef complex and vast mangrove forests) and the Turtle Islands (the country’s largest rockery for the globally endangered green sea turtle, where over 100,000 eggs hatch every year).

Establishing protected areas was just one means for protecting the country’s natural wealth. The DENR identified more than 200 key biodiversity areas (KBAs), covering around 10 million hectares in the country with high diversity.

The KBA approach presented an appropriate framework for identifying fine-scale conservation priorities in the country.

The globally significant sites also provided the building blocks for landscape-level conservation planning and for maintaining effective ecological networks aimed at preventing biodiversity loss.

A total of 228 KBAs were identified for 209 globally threatened, and 419 endemic species of fresh water fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, along with 62 species of congregator birds.

At present, 66 of the 228 KBAs or 29 percent benefit from official safeguard status, having been formally established as protected areas under the NIPAS legal framework.

To date, there are 240 protected areas in the Philippines, of which 113 are covered by Presidential proclamations.
  • Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
  • Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
  • Provide direct financial benefits for conservation,
  • Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people.
  • Raise sensitivity to the country’s political, environmental and social climate.