The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) underscored the need for women's active participation on the policies and programs designed to address challenges emerging from climate change and current and future pandemics, during the kick-off ceremony in celebration of the National Women's Month.

"Our women, especially those in low-income communities, are among the most affected by climate change and COVID-19 because they have limited resources and information to combat the impacts of these crises," DENR Undersecretary for Finance, Information System and Climate Change Analiza Rebuelta-Teh said.

Citing a 2020 report by international climate research organization Project Drawdown, Teh said that empowering women and girls in developing countries, like the Philippines, ranked second among 76 solutions for curbing global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

"Women have the natural capability to adapt to climate change. Educating women and girls will also help raise their resilience from disasters," said Teh, quoting the report.

"Our Department plays a very significant role to address this problem. Our programs in the coastal areas, land, cities, forests, mines, and others should be geared to protect and nurture not only our environment and natural resources but also the well-being of our communities, including men and women, from the climate crisis and the current and future pandemics," she added.

In this year's National Women's Month celebration, DENR shines light on the importance of women making change amid the climate crisis and COVID-19.
The month-long event focuses on the equal and active participation of women in issues concerning the environment, particularly climate change, disaster risk reduction, and health crisis.

"For women's month this year, we highlight on expanding and upscaling transformative actions of individuals, women, men, groups and communities, that is why we are taking centerstage a climate and disaster resiliency recognition awards scheme, dubbed as, 'Mga Kwentong KLIMA-likasan Tungo sa Katatagan' (Stories on climate-environment towards stability)," Teh said.

The DENR, through the Gender and Development Office and Climate Change Service (CCS), aims to highlight the stories of individuals, both women and men, and groups on the impacts of climate change in their communities and on how they are addressing them through relevant programs on environmental protection and conservation, climate change and disaster-risk reduction.

The "Mga Kwentong KLIMA-likasan Tungo sa Katatagan: A Climate and Disaster Resiliency Recognition Awards" is in support to the Good Stories Movement led by environmental lawyer Antonio Oposa, Jr.

"We share the common belief that we can change the story of the world by changing the storyline. We aim to spot and highlight the good stories, and in doing so, encourage more to pursue good stories of behavior changes in environment, care for the Earth, and addressing impacts of climate change in their communities," Teh said.

"I urge all our DENR offices, at the Central Office, bureaus, attached agencies, regional, provincial, and community offices to help us spot the good stories at the ground level. These initiatives should have been existing up to now and at least, for the last three years. If such good stories also need assistance in documentation from our local stakeholders, I urge our various offices to extend such assistance," she added.

The DENR will also conduct webinars and radio programs throughout the month in line with this year's theme, "Women can make change amidst the climate crisis and COVID-19."

For the schedules, interested individuals may visit the DENR-CCS social media page at facebook.com/DENRCCS.

The National Women’s Month is celebrated every March as "Women’s Role in History Month" under Proclamation No. 227 s. 1988.

March 8 of every year has been declared National Women’s Day under Republic Act 6949, Series of 1990, and Women’s Rights and International Peace Day under Proclamation No. 224, Series of 1988. #