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DENR: PH will continue to tap into the blue economy in the face of climate change

MANILA, Philippines — According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, investment in climate change mitigation is critical to reducing the damaging impact of extreme weather events in the Philippines (DENR).

DENR Climate Change Service Officer-in-Charge, Director Chief Elenida Basug, referenced a report recommending the country implement immediate climate initiatives to alleviate economic losses in a virtual webinar on the East Asian Seas’ Response on Wednesday in honor of World Ocean Day.

“If the country ignores the risk linked with climate change, it is anticipated that it will lose 6% of its gross domestic product every year until the year 2100,” she said, citing research by the Asian Development Bank.

She stated that if climate change is mitigated, the average loss might be reduced to 4%.

Between 2007 and 2016, the country suffered an estimated socio-economic loss of roughly US$19.16 billion, or more than PHP1 trillion, as a result of natural disasters attributable to climate change.

“From 2007 to 2016, the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters identified 187 big destructive natural disasters in the country, killing 16,262 people and injuring 168,114 people,” she said.

Despite these dangers, the DENR emphasized the need of promoting the blue economy, as well as the institutions and collaborations that attempt to preserve marine life.

Basug argued that marine biodiversity has been a valuable economic asset for the country, claiming that it has generated more than US $3 billion in value-added from coastal and marine tourism alone, employing 900,000 people.

As a result, they are calling for additional long-term activities and programs to safeguard marine biodiversity.

The DENR, for its part, has devised the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP), which is intended to “comprehensively manage, mitigate, and successfully reduce the degradation of the coastal and marine ecosystem.”

“Our focus on the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program, or CMEMP for short, is really trying to scale up marine protected areas, moving away from the establishment of traditional individual MPAs and instead of moving towards making it more efficient, making it more effective by networking not just through intergovernmental but through transboundary marine protected areas,” Biodiversity Management Bureau Integrated Coastal and Marine Partnership Officer-in-Charge Ch

The Biodiversity-friendly and Social Enterprise Development (BDFE) initiative, which provides a supplemental and alternative livelihood for communities, is included in the CMEMP.

“By 2028, 70 percent of our peoples’ organization enterprises in the biodiversity enterprise master list will be recognized as full-fledged BDFE,” Basug said. “In 2020, 150 biodiversity-friendly enterprises will be provided with technical assistance, and 33 peoples organizations will be provided with financial assistance totaling PHP37.8 million.”

Aside from these initiatives, ethical tourism and multi-sectoral partnerships in the country were identified as important factors in leveraging the blue economy.

“This crisis, which we are all sadly facing, gives us the opportunity to examine, assess, and reconsider our economic, environmental, and humanitarian decisions.” “We need to look at our reaction through the lens of climate change,” she said.

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