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Legarda: Every Peso Spent is Either for Destruction or Restoration

January 18, 2021

“Ecosystems are the basis of all business, all livelihood, even health, wellness, and happiness. We ignore it to our peril and after having despoiled it, we need to restore it before we can go back to maintenance mode. Every peso spent is either for destruction or restoration,” said House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda.

Legarda made the statement in support of the goals of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global call for the protection and revival of ecosystems around the world to enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change, and stop biodiversity collapse. The UN Decade ends by 2030, which is the deadline of the Sustainable Development Goals and the year our scientists have declared as the closing of the window of opportunity to deflect the catastrophic effects of climate change.

“For the past three decades, I have sounded the alarm that nature is in retreat, that we are in an existential crisis due to our increasingly warming planet, and that we need to radically change the way we measure progress and happiness. This decade is our last chance. Nature is finding it hard to catch up with our economic ambitions and societal behaviors,” Legarda said.

“Why must we flatten limestone mountains and cement over our rich soil and verdant forests? Why must we take selfies with coffee drinks that use at least three single-use plastic products, as if it’s the cutest thing to do and which we will just eventually throw away, anyway? Why do we choose to burn fossil fuels already buried deep on the ground and not harness the potential of the limitless and renewable energy above ground?” Legarda added.

Legarda said that she will be filing a resolution urging all departments to assess every expenditure based on how much it will help restore ecosystems. She also called on all agencies of government to align their budgets towards ecosystem restoration and nature-based solutions to the climate emergency.

Legarda also urged her fellow lawmakers to take the necessary measures of inquiry, oversight, and amendments in order for the government to address these threats with the authority and budgets needed. She also encouraged local government units to support social development that can withstand not just pandemics, but also climate-induced severe weather events.

She also appealed to all homemakers of all genders and ages to lead climate action at home, as well as to millennials to venture into sustainable businesses and initiatives to help restore a living planet.

“I hope after these ten years, I will no longer have to plead with anybody and will only have to congratulate ourselves for a job well done. We have to hand over a planet that lives and thrives under our loving care,” Legarda concluded.###