October 13, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA, 13 October 2020 — In observance of World Rainforest Week, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) called for the sustainable management of rainforests and stricter enforcement of environment-related laws to protect ecosystems and biodiversity and help address the impacts of climate change.
Celebrated from October 12th to 18th of every year, World Rainforest Week seeks to raise awareness and encourage action to protect the world’s rainforests. Given the rapid acceleration of climate change and human impacts, rainforests around the world are facing unprecedented threats towards biodiversity, carbon capture, and climate stabilization.
Home to over half of the world’s plant and animal species, our world’s rainforests absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and provide the air we breathe, while also help curb global warming. Although rainforests take up only 6% of the Earth’s surface, within these are some of the most vital ecosystems on the planet.
Despite its critical importance for the survival of life on Earth, rainforests are among the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world. They continue to be endangered by unsustainable logging practices and rampant development and expansion of agribusiness and other industries. Cutting down forests releases carbon into the atmosphere and causes 15 percent of all human-induced carbon emissions.
The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) reported that deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, which contributes significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity, with the area of primary forests worldwide decreased by over 80 million hectares since 1990.
In this regard, the CCC underscored the need for stronger leadership, sense of urgency, and commitment to a decisive multilateral response to swiftly save our deteriorating rainforests. The CCC also stressed the need to strictly enforce the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas Systems Act, to provide support to forest rangers to facilitate the sustainable management of our remaining rainforests and fragile ecosystems, which will be key to combating climate change and contributing to the prosperity and well-being of present and future generations.
Through this observance, the Commission is also encouraging the public to be vigilant and take a more active role in protecting and preserving our forests to prevent the effects of climate change from worsening, avoid the emergence or reemergence of pandemics, and support the health of our ecosystems and the organisms therein.