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EU is encouraged to keep funding the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity.

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In light of the fact that Southeast Asia is regarded as one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. urged European Union (EU) member states to continue providing support to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) on Wednesday (Brussels time).

As the national coordinator for the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit in Brussels, he made this call during his opening remarks.

Huge portions of our natural resources are currently being lost at a rate that is both difficult to repair and impossible to replenish in our lifetimes. The work of the ACB is essential in maintaining and expanding ASEAN’s rich natural heritage, which is a foundational element of our culture and our economy, he said.

The 10 ASEAN member states and international organizations may cooperate and coordinate more easily on the preservation and sustainable use of biological variety thanks to the intergovernmental ACB, which has its headquarters in Los Banos, Laguna.

In order to ease the exchange of green technology and cooperation between the two blocs, Marcos stated that the Philippines would “vigorously pursue collaboration and coordination” with the EU.

He bemoaned how climate change “threatens to drastically transform for the worse many sensitive ASEAN landscapes,” saying that it is “a race against time to conserve and avert habitat and biodiversity loss.”

On the basis of the “intersection of priority sectors between the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, anchored by ASEAN Centrality,” he also voiced a strong desire to forge closer maritime cooperation between ASEAN and the EU.

“We need to see an effective application of the UNCLOS to address the maritime disputes and geopolitical rivalry in the Indo-Pacific to truly realize the still-distant aspiration for the Indo-Pacific to become a sea of peace and prosperity for us all,” he said. “Beyond declaring respect and support for UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) as the legal framework that governs all activities in the oceans and seas.

In particular, “at this time of economic recovery from the ravages created by the pandemic and the current risks on the supply chain,” Marcos pushed for deeper bloc-to-bloc ties.

He also expressed the expectation that the proposed free trade agreement between the Philippines and the EU would soon go past the scoping stage.

Marcos urged for “greater progress” in the pledge of wealthy nations to establish a “loss and damage” fund to support poorer countries adversely hit by climate change during the ASEAN-EU working luncheon with EU leaders and businesses.

He acknowledged that over 200 states agreed at the UNFCCC’s 27th Conference of the Parties (COP 27) to establish a financing system to pay vulnerable countries for “loss and damage” from climate-related disasters, but he also pointed out that many problems remain unanswered.

In his statement, he stated that “we truly would like to see much more progress in terms of that, the financing, with the mitigation and the adjustment of our countries who are at tremendous risk from the effects of climate change.”

The resilience and adaptability of the Philippines to the “new normals” of climate change have been repeatedly assured by Marcos as being at the top of his administration’s national agenda.

Since 2021, the Philippines has served as the ASEAN-EU country coordinator, and it will continue to do so through 2024.

Cebuano Cebuano English English Filipino Filipino

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