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DENR vows to continue leading PH fight vs the impacts of climate change

Antonia Loyzaga
DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has vowed to continue leading the fight against the impacts of climate change and to ensure that the Philippines will fulfill its climate commitments.

“The DENR will continue to do our part in leading and accelerating climate action and in enhancing the integrity of ecosystems,” Environment Secretary Antonia Loyzaga said in a speech read by Undersecretary for Field Operations-Luzon, Visayas and the Environment Juan Miguel Cuna during the 4th Philippine Environment Summit on February 21.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Chairman of the Climate Change Commission (CCC), had designated Loyzaga as his representative. The CCC is the lead policy-making government body on climate change.

“As the designated representative of the President to the Commission, we will focus on accelerating and completing the work that has been long outstanding for us to deliver on our international commitments,” Loyzaga said.

DENR Climate change

“Among these are the National GHG (Greenhouse Gas) Inventory, National Adaptation Plan and its Financing Plan, NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) National Implementation Plan, and the local climate change action plans of our LGUs (local government units),” she pointed out.

According to Loyzaga, the Philippines needs to have “ecosystems-based, ridge-to-reef approaches” that can enhance ecosystems, prevent disasters, and mitigate the impacts of hazards.

“We must explore how nature-based solutions can address the food-water-energy security outcomes we aim to achieve,” Loyzaga stressed.

She added, “The DENR is naturally at the forefront of climate action due to our mandate of conserving, protecting, managing, restoring, and regenerating our country’s environment and natural resources. The Philippines is also increasingly becoming a model in the region for our whole-of-society approach in disaster risk reduction and climate action.”

Loyzaga noted that several climate plans are in place to accelerate and complete the work of delivering the country’s international commitments.

DENR Climate change

The Philippines submitted its NDC to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in April 2021, pledging a projected reduction and avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions of 75 percent for the period of 2020–2030, of which 2.71 percent is unconditional and 72.29 percent is conditional.

The Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCAM-DRR), chaired by the DENR, also adopted a resolution in January 2021 entitled “Adopting the Principles of Sustainable Consumption and Production, Towards Regulation and Phaseout of Single-Use Plastics and a Responsible Transition to the Use of Environment-Friendly Products”.

This resolution further strengthens the Philippine Action Plan for Sustainable Consumption and Production, and supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal No. 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production, as well as AmBisyon Natin 2040.

Through the newly enacted Republic Act 11898 or the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations, the country is gradually transitioning to a circular economy where plastic waste reduction, recovery, and recycling in the private sector will be scaled up.

The World Risk Index 2022, developed by the UN University Institute for Environment and Human Security, ranked the Philippines first among 193 countries in terms of exposure to natural hazards.

DENR Climate change

Loyzaga explained that this vulnerability is closely tied to exposure brought on by the country’s development trajectory, which has been marked by unequal social protection and a disregard for how ecosystems maintain communities.

The DENR chief also emphasized that protecting the country’s environment and natural resources is not the government’s work alone, but entails everyone’s cooperation to ensure the quality of life of future generations.

With the theme “Caring for Earth: Scaling Up Solutions to the Climate Emergency,” the 4th Philippine Environment Summit was organized by the DENR in partnership with Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment, and Sustainable Economy to strengthen multisectoral environmental initiatives and promote cooperation between the academic, business, local government, non-governmental, and youth sectors through the exchange of knowledge and best practices.

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