The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) vowed to pursue future partnerships with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), as it welcomed Sakamoto Takema as JICA’s new Chief Representative to the Philippines.

Sakamoto took over JICA Philippines from former Chief Representative Azukizawa Eigo, who steered JICA’s development cooperation projects in the Philippines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“DENR and JICA have a long history of partnership, and we have achieved many milestones together. Under Mr. Sakamoto’s leadership, we will continue to support them for the protection and conservation of our environment and natural resources,” said DENR Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna.

Prior to his appointment, Sakamoto held wide-ranging leadership positions in JICA for over 30 years, including Director General for the South Asia Department at the JICA headquarters, and JICA Chief Representative in Iraq and India in 2011 and 2015, respectively.

Sakamoto laid out JICA’s two projects, the PH-P248: Forestland Management Project, and the Project for Capacity Development on Improving Solid Waste Management through Advanced/Innovative Technologies during a courtesy call to Sampulna on May 16.

He is also looking forward to further coordination with the DENR for the smooth implementation of these projects.

Through the years, DENR and JICA have been working closely for the protection and conservation of the environment and natural resources.

JICA has sponsored DENR’s training program on Sustainable Forestry Management with Community Participation in 2019, and also partnered with DENR-led Task Force Build Back Better for the rehabilitation of the Marikina River.

Since the 1960s, JICA has been assisting in the country’s development projects, including environment, agriculture, and peace and development in Mindanao. ###