Legarda Urges Filipinos to be Part of Biodiversity Conservation

September 22, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today renewed her call to Filipinos to get involved in efforts towards biodiversity conservation, noting that despite the abundance in natural resources, many Filipinos remain poor and hungry.


Legarda made the statement as the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) presented today the Philippine Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (PBSAP), which is the country’s roadmap to conserve its biodiversity.


“The Philippines is one of the megadiverse countries and has one of the highest rates of discovery of new species in the world. But in the midst of bountiful resources, millions of the world’s humanity remain hungry. There were 3.6 million hungry Filipino families in the second quarter of 2014 according to the SWS survey and many coastal residents, who should have access to marine resources, are among the poorest citizens,” she explained.


The Senator said that the PBSAP was crafted by Philippine government agencies led by the DENR and in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the aim of restoring and rehabilitating the country’s biodiversity by the year 2027.


Furthermore, the PBSAP is anchored on the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), which means that the pursuit of economic growth while protecting the environment is the way forward.


Legarda said that in order to be effective, the PBSAP should be supported by citizens through their active involvement in biodiversity conservation.


“We are all consumers and we contribute to the decline of the world’s resources because of our insatiable demand for new things. The rate of extraction and consumption is way faster than the rate at which the Earth can replenish its resources. The solution begins with us,” she stressed.


“The PBSAP highlights that people should be at the core of conservation, protection and rehabilitation, and developmental initiatives. The first step towards building a sustainable community, one that respects biodiversity, is to correct one of the biggest misconceptions about the environment—that natural resources are infinite. We all need to stop craving for and taking more than what we need,” said Legarda.


She added that local government units and their respective communities should work together towards the protection of natural resources, and green jobs and green skills should be further promoted to contribute to environmental protection.


“In the Senate we also have proposed measures aimed at strengthening climate adaptation mechanisms and conserving biodiversity, including the Integrated Coastal Management Act and the National Land Use Act. All these measures and programs are part of the solution, but the most important step is for every Filipino to renew their commitment to preserving what remains of our natural resources by taking action today,” Legarda concluded.