ARMM launches WB-IFC Project for sustainable agri investments
(May 25, 2016. Cotabato City) The Regional Board of Investment (RBOI), Head of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Regional Cabinet Cluster on Economic Growth together with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of World Bank (WB) and the Hineleban Foundation will launch today the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) at the RPDO-ARMM Office, Cotabato City. The HCSA is part of the Bangsamoro Sustainability Framework (BSF) that aims to promote sustainable agricultural investments in the Bangsamoro.
Lawyer, Ishak Mastura, Chairman of RBOI said that despite some uncertainties of a new autonomy framework in the peace negotiations considering also that the country now has a new elected president who may have different plans for the Bangsamoro still, a number of private sector investors are continuing to forge ahead with their plans for agri related investment in the region. Some of these are Al Sahar Agri–Ventures Inc., Salam Agri-Ventures Corporation, Al Shayan and many others.
To facilitate the availability of the much needed financing for the projects, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) is expected to enter into an agreement with multilateral and bilateral partners for a project entitled, “Harnessing Agribusiness Opportunities through Robust and Vibrant Entrepreneurship Supportive of Peaceful Transformation (HARVEST). In line with this, the IFC has approved a technical assistance for a pilot project on HCSA”, Mastura added.
Given the momentum of private initiatives, it will be important to ensure that: (i) the private sector investments are sustainable and in harmony with the natural and cultural environments of the Bangsamoro; and (ii) the benefits of growth and investment are equitably distributed among the Bangsamoro population.
Hineleban Chair, Dr. Urooj Malik said that the project is keen to partner with ARMM Regional Government agencies, the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and local and international NGOs, among others, in the implementation of the HCSA at the landscape scale for the Bangsamoro region. “This landscape level strategy will be implemented via use of the HCSA, a methodology that distinguishes forest areas for protection from degraded lands with low carbon and biodiversity values that may be developed. The methodology aims to ensure a practical, transparent, robust, and scientifically credible approach that is widely accepted to implement commitments to halt deforestation while securing the rights and livelihood of the Bangsamoro people” , Urooj added.
Re-elected ARMM Regional Governor, Mujiv S. Hataman with a fresh mandate is supportive of the project. Hataman said that this is a welcome development making sure that agribusiness investments in the region will help propel economic growth, ensure that there will be enough resources and opportunities for the Bangsamoro people now and in the future.(SOURCE: RBOI)