The Biodiversity Conservation Program (BCP) aims to:
1. continuously monitor the country’s progress in biodiversity conservation by tapping the intellectual and technical expertise in the University;
2. undertake multidisciplinary research along the biological, politico-legal, socio-economic and cultural aspects of biodiversity conservation;
3. set up a Documentation Center with an updated Geographic Information System (GIS);
4. ensure the implementation of research-based action plans for critical biological resources, sites and ecosystems; and
5. build a community of scholars and academics committed to the conservation of biodiversity as well as a network of experts outside the University.
A field site for the BCP is the Cordillera Administrative Region. This is a GO-NGO-academe-community partnership which initiated a pilot action-research project in one village with indigenous peoples in Sagada, Mountain Province. This involved the UP College Baguio.
Another BCP research concern is urban biodiversity which seeks to document plant species diversity in the UP Campus and immediate vicinity. The ultimate product is a book with a format that shall be able to assist college students, instructors, biologists and others who are interested in this field.
The BCP also aims to look into the “Status of Freshwater Biodiversity in the Philippines”. It noted that the most important threats to the biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems include:
a) habitat change or damage;
b) biological pollution (introduction of non-native species); and
c) overexploitation. Because of these, focus is placed on the need to study the biodiversity of inland waters.
BCP also shared its collaborative experience with the Education Research Program (ERP) in Lopez Jaena, Misamis Occidental whereby the issues of governance was pursued together with the study of ecosystems.
The BCP would like to organize a workshop on “Conservation Priority Setting for the Philippines: A Second Iteration of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan”. This workshop is an offshoot of the first iteration, i.e., the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) which was formulated in 1995 which led to the funding of the National Integrated Protected Areas (NIPAs) in 8 sites in 1995. The second iteration workshop seeks to address the gaps in terms of areas and species that are protected and not protected.