May 22, 2020 Friday
MANILA, 22 May 2020 — In observance of the International Day for Biological Diversity, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) called for solidarity in bending the curve of biodiversity loss to prevent the risks of future viral outbreaks and to help address the prevailing climate emergency.
According to the CCC, the theme for this year’s observance, Our Solutions Are In Nature, is a timely and powerful reminder amid the current public health emergency of the fundamental role of biodiversity to human well-being and health.
Since the start of the year, governments around the world are pursuing efforts to arrest the spread of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19), a zoonotic disease caused by neglecting the importance of biodiversity management and giving a lenient control on illegal wildlife trade.
Reiterating the pronouncement of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that there is a need to re-examine the relationship between the global community and the natural world, the CCC said that efforts to address the impacts of the current public health emergency to economy should be green, climate-resilient, and supportive of the implementation of our environmental laws.
These laws include the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001 or the Republic Act (RA) No. 9147, Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 2018 or RA 11038, and the Climate Change Act of 2009 or RA 9729—all aimed at protecting the country’s megadiverse natural resources.
According to UN-CBD, the Philippines is one of 18 mega-diverse countries in the world. It contains two-thirds of the Earth’s biodiversity and between 70% and 80% of the world’s plants and animal species, respectively. Species endemism in the country is very high, covering at least 25 genera of plants and 49% of terrestrial wildlife.
UN-CBD also reported that the country is one of the world’s known biodiversity hotspots with at least 700 threatened species, thus making it one of the top global conservation areas.
Currently, the country uses the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Strategies (PBCP) as a framework to protect its 228 key biodiversity areas (KBAs). PBCP incorporates major strategies and immediate actions aimed at sustainably managing and conserving the estimated 10.56 million hectares of KBAs.
The CCC said that the protection and conservation of our national resources is the first step toward ushering a better normal for the Filipino people—one that paves the way for a safer, healthier, and more sustainable future for the generations to come.