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Wealth accounting key to growth

The Philippines will continuously implement wealth accounting initiatives needed to sustain long-term development, the country’s chief economic planner said Thursday.

National Economic and Development Authority Director General Ernesto Pernia said the agency supported natural capital accounting to help more Filipinos understand the contribution of natural resources to the country’s robust economic growth.

“While numerous laws and regulations have been passed to protect, conserve, and sustain our natural resources, enforcement has been weak and inadequate,” he said during the opening of the national conference on NCA.

Pernia underscored the need to improve management and utilization of these natural resources.

He said the Philippines has been implementing since 2010 the project called the Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services, a global partnership led by the World Bank.
   
The NEDA chief noted that results of policy analyses and recommendations from WAVES have been helping the government to formulate appropriate strategies and programs needed to sustain long-term development.
   
Apart from the Philippines, WAVES started out with four other core implementing countries namely Botswana, Colombia, Costa Rica and Madagascar.
   
For her part, World Bank Country Director Mara Warwick cited the importance of incorporating the full value of ecosystem services and the benefits that people derive from them into policy-making through the NCA.
   
Warwick said NCA measured and valued the links between the economy and the environment and allowed a country to analyze if it was using natural resources sustainably.
   
She noted gross domestic product is not a sufficient indicator of sustainability.
   
“…It does not value the cost of environmental degradation or recognize how natural resources are being depleted in the course of meeting the demands of economic growth. Neither does it recognize the needs of communities who depend on natural resources for day-to-day survival,” she added.