March 03, 2018 Saturday
March 3, 2018. In observance of the World Wildlife Day, March 3, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) called on national and local government officials to strengthen efforts to protect wildlife and biodiversity within communities against destruction due to pollution, overexploitation, deforestation, and most especially, climate change.
“We are endowed with rich and bountiful natural resources that we have been considered as a megadiverse country in the world. Our natural wealth, however, is in great peril if we do not alter our behavior towards it and if we do not build our resilience against climate-related hazards, such as typhoons, flooding, and landslides,” said Climate Change Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman.
The CCC cited the 2016 Low Carbon Monitor Report of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which foresees that 98% of coral reefs will die by 2050, practically an extinction by the end of the century if current global warming trends will continue.
Moreover, the CCC mentioned that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that, with a 1.5°C to 2.5°C rise in temperature in a span of 50-100 years, 30% of species in the Philippines would be at risk of extinction.
Commissioner Rachel Herrera also encouraged local government units (LGUs) to strictly enforce environmental laws within their communities in order to protect and preserve wildlife and biodiversity.
“We already have landmark laws for the protection of our environment—hailed as some of the best in the world—but we need to intensify our efforts to fully implement these measures on the ground,” Herrera said.
Among the laws Herrera mentioned were the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Law.
Furthermore, the CCC reiterated its commitment to providing technical assistance to LGUs, especially in the formulation of their Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP).
Commissioner Noel Gaerlan said that it is extremely important that local government units are fully aware of their climate and disaster risks, so that these would inform their LCCAP and guide their actions as they implement projects and programs at the community level.
“Rest assured that the CCC will continue working alongside our local government planners and officials, as well as stakeholders, in coming up with comprehensive and risk-informed LCCAPs that will hopefully protect the welfare of our wildlife and biodiversity, as well as the wellbeing of our fellow Filipinos,” Gaerlan said.
The formulation of LCCAP is in line with the Climate Change Act of 2009 and its amendatory law, the People’s Survival Fund Act—both principally sponsored and authored by Senator Loren Legarda.
It is also one key component of the CCC’s Communities for Resilience (CORE) Program, which is undertaken in collaboration with State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) to deepen the knowledge and build the capacity of our LGUs in addressing the impacts of climate change within their respective localities.