Legarda: PH needs to step up in marine preservation

June 5, 2024

Senator Loren Legarda asserted the Philippines’ role in promoting the sustainability of marine resources around the world.

“The leadership of coastal nations is crucial for the protection of our oceans—those who experience the sands of Deauville in France, the Arribada in Tamarindo in Costa Rica, and the seaside cliffs of Palawan know full well what it means to love the sea,” Legarda said during the Blue Nations – France and Philippines: Partners for the Oceans event on Wednesday.

“These are but tiny examples of the vast, life-sustaining bodies of water that cover over 70% of our planet, which not only provide us with essential resources but also regulate the Earth’s climate and support diverse marine life,” she added.

Legarda emphasized that there must be a greater global effort to preserve the integrity of marine life, as people are becoming increasingly aware of the fragility of the environment and its diminishing capacity to support life.

The four-term senator also lauded Costa Rica for making substantial contributions to ocean conservation through the expansion of its marine protected areas and the implementation of effective measures against illegal fishing.

As one of the countries with the largest coastlines, approximately 36,300 kilometers in length, the Philippines needs significant resources and effort to help secure its marine life.

Legarda recently authored and sponsored the passage of the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) Act, which provides a snapshot of the country’s natural resources.

“Natural capital accounting, as exemplified by Costa Rica, offers a transformative perspective on how we view and manage our natural resources. By recognizing the economic value of the services provided by healthy oceans—such as carbon sequestration, coastal protection, and fisheries—this approach aligns economic incentives with environmental stewardship,” remarked Legarda.

“It encourages nations and businesses to invest in the long-term health of marine ecosystems, ensuring their sustainability for future generations,” she continued.

With the Philippines being tagged as one of the major sources of marine plastics, Legarda has continued to push for the full implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, legislation that she authored and principally sponsored.

“We have begun to realize the vast potential and contribution of the oceans to our planetary wealth and health,” said Legarda.

“We have begun to measure what we treasure and made great strides in keeping waste from reaching our seas. But we need a much greater push and a universal understanding of these goals to allow us all to push together to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14,” she concluded. (30)