DENR chief calls for increased investments in science, technology

December 27, 2022, 4:25 pm

<p>Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Antonia Loyzaga. <em>(FIle photo)</em></p>

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Antonia Loyzaga. (FIle photo)

MANILA – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Antonia Loyzaga has called for increased investments in science and technology to gain new insights and tools in the protection and restoration of Philippine biodiversity.

Loyzaga made the call during the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which is the largest conference in the world focused on biodiversity, on Dec. 14 in Montreal, Canada.

A DENR website post on Tuesday said Loyzaga served as one of the panelists in Conservation International’s flagship event with the theme: “Innovations for a Nature Positive and Net Zero Future.”

She was designated by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. as his representative in the COP15.

The DENR chief said protection and restoration comprise more than 80 percent of the biodiversity financing gap, making it extremely important to fill the void through the accumulation of investments for biodiversity conservation.

She cited the significance of investing heavily in science and technology, specifically in improving the technical capacity of the different offices concerned with the restoration of damaged or destroyed ecosystems across the country.

“Climate change adds another layer of complexity to these tasks. We know that ecosystems and community interactions are dynamic, thus there is a continuous need to address the socioecological roots and drivers for vulnerability and development,” she said.

Loyzaga said improving the technical capacity of concerned government agencies will enable the successful review and assessment of national resources, including terrestrial, coastal, and marine ecosystems.

She said this process would engage the private sector to use “spatial finance” that would aid them to accelerate the integration of nature-based solutions into their core value cycle that defines how they could offer their services with ease.

She added that improvement in technology would also grant constructive monitoring and analysis of data that would help in the decision-making of regulations and legislations toward adaptive management.

“We must raise the flag for regeneration beyond restoration targets for this high ambition for nature-positive investments. Not just nature and communities bouncing back, but we need to invest in bouncing forward to anticipate future needs and risks,” she said.

Likewise, she reiterated President Marcos’ message in his first State of the Nation Address last July 25, that the preservation of the environment is the preservation of life.

She said this would mean economies depend on air, water, food and energy sustained by a healthy environment, and not the other way around.

She urged both government and private sector to work across “silos” by investing in the restoration of the country’s ecosystems and biodiversity. (PNA)