Left to right: USAID Acting Mission Director Sean Callahan, USAID Environment Office Chief John Edgar, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Heather Variava, DA Undersecretary Cheryl Marie Caballero and Atty. Demosthenes Escoto of BFAR during the Memorandum of Understanding signing between USAID and DA.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Thursday to formally launch a new partnership that will improve the performance of the Philippine fisheries sector and assist national and local governments in adopting an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management.

In a statement, the USAID said it will work with the DA’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to support the conservation and rehabilitation of habitats for fishery resources; institute reforms to address overfishing and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; and incentivize conservation through private-sector engagement. 

“Our two countries share an enduring partnership in the areas of sustainable fisheries and marine biodiversity conservation,” said U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Heather Variava. “I am proud to say that our relationship grows stronger over time as we learn from each other and find more ways to collaborate around our shared goals.” 

This new partnership will bolster collaboration on the Philippines’ Fisheries Management Areas and further align USAID programming with the Philippine government’s priorities for fisheries management and conservation, including the department’s “One DA” approach to directly benefit resource-poor farmers and fishers. 

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This MOU is being implemented under the five-year Development Objective Grant Agreement for Enhanced Ecosystem and Community Resilience, which was signed between USAID and the National Economic and Development Authority on February 3, 2021. 

For the past six decades, USAID has been collaborating with the Philippine government, private sector, and local organizations to improve everyday lives, investing more than Php259 billion ($5.1 billion) toward shared development goals since 1961.

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