February 28, 2024

The Climate Change Commission (CCC) emphasized the importance of closer collaboration between the government and the private sector to protect the country’s dwindling natural resources.

In a statement, CCC Commissioner Albert dela Cruz, Sr. said immediate actions are needed to address the mismanagement of resources.

“Science has given us many warnings and scientists and environmental experts have warned us that unless we change our habits, unless we change our lack of sensitivity to our environment, there will be global warming, there will be climate change,” dela Cruz said.

As of 2020, the Philippines has around 7.2 million hectares of forest cover, according to data from the Department of Environment Natural Resources.

The country’s forest cover has steadily dwindled because of the exportation of forest products, Dela Cruz said, citing the production of 827,000 cubic meters of logs and 138,000 cubic meters of lumber in 2021.

Dela Cruz said the government, with the help of the private sector, should protect the remaining forest cover.

“We have to open our consciousness in protecting our environment by taking full advantage of resources in order to protect forest land and not abuse it through the mismanagement of our natural wealth,” he said.

During the 160th anniversary of the Philippine Forestry Service in Quezon City on June 26, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. urged the concerned government agencies and the private sector to work together in protecting and managing the country’s limited resources.

Marcos said environmental preservation and awareness “are critical in nurturing a deeper consciousness among (the citizenry) as well as in addressing the problems caused by climate change and the centuries of mismanaged resources.”

In a Palace briefing on June 27, Environment Sec. Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga said the DENR is eyeing the reforestation of one to two million hectares in the country under Marcos’ watch.

The DENR has created the national environment and natural resources geospatial mapping tool for the identification of areas for reforestation, watershed management, and crafting of mining policies. – PNA