CCC on Desertification and Drought Day: Behavioral Change and Policy Interventions are Keys to Sustainable Land Management

June 17, 2020 Wednesday

MANILA, 17 June 2020 — In observance of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought today, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) underscored the importance of behavioral change and policy interventions in ensuring the efficient and sustainable management of our lands.

In line with the theme of this year’s observance, Food. Feed. Fibre, the CCC said that changing consumption patterns and enacting the right policies could send a powerful signal to producers and suppliers of the change they need to make in order to thrive in a more sustainable and better normal.

In 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate Change and Land revealed that the major drivers of desertification and climate change are the expansion of croplands, unsustainable land management practices, and increased pressure on land from population and income growth.

Based on the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by mid-century and could peak at nearly 11 billion by 2100.

By 2030, food production will require an additional 30 hectares of land while the fashion industry is projected to use an additional 35 percent of land or approximately 115 million hectares, according to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

Given these figures, the climate body emphasized that the shift to sustainable consumption and production is necessary to ensure a livable and thriving planet for the generations to come.

According to the CCC, there is a need to develop policies that will create an enabling environment for the private business sector to practice resource efficiency, establish sustainable supply chains, and adopt more efficient and sustainable land use and land management practices. This will require collaboration between multiple areas and levels within the government.

In this connection, the CCC reiterated the call of President Duterte for the enactment of the National Land Use Act (NLUA) which seeks to ensure the sustainable and efficient use of the country’s land and physical resources.

In his 2017, 2018, and 2019 State of the Nation Address, the President has asked the Congress to pass the proposed NLUA, which has been pending in Congress for two decades.

Early this year, in lieu of a law still pending in Congress, the National Economic and Development Authority has initiated drafting an executive order that will institutionalize national land use planning in the country.