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Legarda on World Wildlife Day: Ensure Life Below Water to Protect Food Security and Biodiversity

March 2, 2019

Senator Loren Legarda today supported the global call to reduce threats against marine species and also urged authorities and stakeholders to help protect marine wildlife and biodiversity from pollution and impacts of climate change.

Legarda made the statement in celebration of this year’s World Wildlife Day, March 3, which carries the theme of “Life Below Water: For Life and Planet,” aligning with Goal 14 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“As an archipelagic country, we depend so much for food and water from our oceans, but it is only until recently that we are ramping up efforts to rehabilitate and protect our marine life and environment. We need to sustain this level of awareness and action to ensure that we can still be able to provide for future generations,” Legarda said.

Legarda lauded the recent collaborative efforts from the government and stakeholders to rehabilitate Boracay and Manila Bay, as well as the plans to rehabilitate other beach and tourist destinations all over the country.

The Senator however noted that our efforts must be aligned to the goal of limiting global temperate rise to 1.5°C, citing the Special Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which projects lower climate risks to marine biodiversity, fisheries, and ecosystems, and their functions and services to humans at 1.5°C, compared to 2°C of global warming.

Legarda, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, shared other findings from the report, including a further decline of coral reefs by 70-90 percent at 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (>99 percent) would be lost at 2°C. Projected decrease in global annual catch for marine fisheries is also about 1.5 million tonnes at 1.5°C, compared to a loss of more than 3 million tonnes at 2°C.

“As this World Wildlife Day focuses on life below water, we need to elevate the discussion and escalate our action at the local and global level to protect our marine resources in a more sustainable and meaningful fashion. In this time of climate crisis, we are compelled to do more for the sake of our future and our planet,” Legarda concluded.