Press Releases

In celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities this year, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) turned over information, education and communication (IEC) materials translated to Braille – a universally accepted system of reading and writing for blind persons – to selected special education (SPED) schools during a simple ceremony held at the DENR Central Office in Quezon City on December 5.

In line with this year’s international theme, “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: The role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world,” the DENR—through its Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service-Persons with Disabilities Desk—invited teachers and students who served as representatives from the 13 selected SPED schools to receive the IEC materials.

The project has come into fruition under the directive of DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga, whose bid to promote inclusiveness for all sectors of society has been at the forefront of the DENR initiatives.

According to DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones, the DENR’s drive for climate justice includes the struggle of the disabled minority. The translation of the IEC materials is part of the agency’s development of long-term solutions, effective programs and sustainable projects that would benefit the whole of society.

“We are here today because the Department understands your strength, and we created necessary efforts to help you appreciate what the environment has to offer through the translation of these IEC materials,” Leones said.

The translation of IEC materials to Braille is considered the first of its kind in the DENR.

The materials translated to Braille included Perwisyong Usok Pigilan, which features ways to help clean the air; Malinis na Katubigan at Luntiang Kapaligiran, which highlights the importance of plants and trees and enumerates ways to improve waterways; Climate Change in the Philippines; E-Waste; and Enhanced Adopt an Estero Program Activities.

The recipient SPED schools are the Philippine National School for the Blind, Batino Elementary School, San Vicente Elementary School, Bagong Silang Elementary School, Valenzuela National High School, San Rafael BBH Elementary School, San Fernando Elementary School, Angeles Elementary School, San Fernando City SPED Integrated School, Bautista Elementary School, Sorsogon East Central School, Naga City SPED Center, and Kalalake Elementary School.

National Council on Disability Affairs IEC Division Chief Gian Carla Negra thanked the DENR for providing the schools with the Braille materials, saying it provides the Council the opportunity to check the implementation of the law for PWDs.

She added that the Braille-translated materials will be very important for the education of the students, and hopes that more national government agencies will follow suit in providing a safe and considerate atmosphere for PWDs.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated annually every third day of December by virtue of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 47/3 promulgated in 1992. ###

 

In celebration of the National Volunteer Month (NVM), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has expressed its appreciation to several partner organizations that devoted their time, resources and efforts to help the agency fulfill its mandate despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DENR gathered representatives from 79 partner organizations from the public and private sectors, religious sector, the academe, people’s organizations, non-government organizations, and government-owned and controlled corporations at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City last December 7 to mark the NVM 2022, with the theme “Volunteer Now: Spark Hope, Create Solutions, and Respond to Pandemic Challenges.”

The partner organizations were recognized and acknowledged for their efforts in mobilizing and partnering with the DENR for the protection and conservation of the environment and natural resources. They were given certificates of appreciation and cited through an audio-visual presentation of their activities with the DENR this year.

Among the organizations recognized were DENR long-time partners including the National Bicycle Organization, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Rotary Club of Makati (Rockwell, McKinley, San Francisco del Monte, Olympia, and Bonifacio), and Land Bank of the Philippines.

In observing NVM, the DENR aims to increase awareness among its partner organizations on the importance of volunteerism and partnership for the conservation of the environment; recognize partner organizations that have mobilized volunteers and conducted activities with the DENR in support of its mandate to conserve, manage, and develop the country’s environment and natural resources; and encourage other organizations to participate in the conduct of environmental partnership activities with the agency.

For his part, Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency Executive Director Donald James Gawe said that the NVM aims “to recognize each who selflessly extended their services, time, and resources, and collaborated with the DENR in conducting various activities and sharing information for environmental protection and sustainability.”

The activity is pursuant to Proclamation No. 55, Series of 1998, declaring December of every year as National Volunteer Month in order to instill and promote the importance and contribution of volunteerism to the improvement of people’s welfare, realization of aspirations, leadership development, citizen empowerment, and unification of society. ###

 

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Antonia Loyzaga has called for increased investments in science and technology to gain new insights and tools in the protection and restoration of the Philippine biodiversity during the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the largest conference in the world focused on biodiversity, on December 14 in Montreal, Canada.

Serving as one of the panellists in Conservation International’s flagship event, “Innovations for a Nature Positive and Net Zero Future,” Loyzaga bared that protection and restoration comprise over 80 percent of the biodiversity financing gap, thus making it extremely important to fill this void through the accumulation of investments for biodiversity conservation.

Loyzaga, designated by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. as his representative, cited the importance of investing heavily in science and technology, particularly on improving the technical capacity of the different offices concerned in the restoration of damaged or destroyed ecosystems across the country.

“Climate change adds another layer of complexity to these tasks. We know that ecosystems and community interactions are dynamic, thus there is a continuous need to address the socioecological roots and drivers for vulnerability and development,” Loyzaga said.

She explained that improving the technical capacity of concerned government agencies will enable the successful review and assessment of national resources, including terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems.

This process, according to the DENR chief, would engage the private sector to use “spatial finance” that would aid them to accelerate the integration of nature-based solutions into their core value cycle that defines how they could offer their services with ease.

Improvement in technology would also grant constructive monitoring and analysis of data that would equip in the decision-making of regulations and legislations towards an adaptive management, she added.

“We must raise the flag for regeneration beyond restoration targets for this high ambition for nature-positive investments. Not just nature and communities bouncing back, but we need to invest in bouncing forward to anticipate future needs and risks,” Loyzaga pointed out.

Loyzaga also reiterated President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s message in his first State of the Nation Address that the preservation of the environment is preservation of life. This would mean that economies depend on air, water, food and energy sustained by a healthy environment, and not the other way around, she explained.

To attain this, Loyzaga encouraged both private sector and government to work across silos by investing in the restoration of the country’s ecosystems and biodiversity. ###

 

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Antonia Loyzaga has urged the private sector to work closely together in accelerating their adoption of nature-based solutions that will result in co-benefits of climate action and disaster risk reduction.
 
During her keynote address at the “Sustainability Forum PH: United for Climate” held last November 28 in Manila, Loyzaga highlighted the importance of the leadership of the private sector, which has emerged as a critical actor in bridging the cost of financing climate action.
 
“I urge those present here today to not only look to energy efficiency – the shifts to renewable energy and resource efficiency, and establishing your process and product contributions to the circular economy – but to internalize the role of nature in adapting to climate change and its critical importance to disaster risk reduction,” Loyzaga said.  
 
The DENR chief lauded the forum, which was co-presented by SM Corporation and World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), as it served as a platform for the creation of Philippine Alliance for Climate Action that aims to make the public sector come together and address the threat of climate change.
 
The new alliance, Loyzaga said, could yield the most significant results as the potential synergy among major corporations in the country will most likely generate new capacity to protect, restore, and enhance rich but threatened ecosystems.
 
Loyzaga rallied top business executives present at the event to consider working with the DENR in its mission of building evidence-informed area-based resilience.
 
She asked for their support on the establishment of a national risk register that can serve as the basis for determining gaps, needs, and priorities of development plans.
 
The DENR, under Loyzaga’s leadership, seeks to create a national natural resource geospatial database, an accounting of the country’s natural resources and environmental assets that will support the development of the agency’s strategies.
 
Loyzaga said the DENR would highly appreciate the private companies’ synergized expert insights and alignment of investments to address complex and cascading risk across sectors and scales.
 
She also underscored the importance of the private sector’s role in mainstreaming climate and disaster resilience into their core business cycles.
 
Loyzaga indicated that the conglomerates must not just refer to the businesses they represent and their respective pathways to net zero emissions, but should also include the work needed beyond their fencelines to preserve and protect the ecosystems and communities that support them.
 
“I believe it is high time for the private sector to come together as an alliance to ensure that the ecological and economic gains as individual companies and organizations are leveraged and magnified for the good of our people, our country, and our planet,” she said.
 
She then called on the private sector to support the goals of the Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures and Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures which will enable companies and financial institutions to integrate nature into decision making, and improve reporting of climate-related financial information. ###
 

 

Environment Secretary Antonia Loyzaga highlighted the need to shore up biodiversity investments to establish the adaptive management and capacity of regions and communities, during the high-level segment of the 15th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Montreal, Canada.

Loyzaga was designated by President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. as his representative and Head of the Philippine delegation which is composed of officials from the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa, Permanent Mission to the UN, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Agriculture (DA), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), and experts from civil society.

Loyzaga reported the steps being undertaken by the Philippine government to address biodiversity and climate change challenges when she participated in the High-Level Panel on Financing Delivery of the Global Biodiversity Framework upon the invitation of the United Kingdom.

“More investments in science informed mainstreaming are needed to build adaptive management at the subnational down to the community level,” Loyzaga said.

The environment chief also said that biodiversity finance will contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on reducing inequality, poverty, hunger, health, clean water and energy, decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities, and responsible consumption and production, among others.

This is in addition to the goal of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to attain SDGs 14 and 15 or life below water and life on land, respectively.

She shared that the Philippines has already begun to align its official development assistance (ODA) with “strategic goals” such as extending support to the 10-Point Agenda for Financing Biodiversity and the High Ambition Coalition.

These aim to address the complex and interrelated linkages between biodiversity, climate change, and inclusive, equitable, and resilient development.

In addition to the country’s international environmental commitments, Loyzaga said the Philippine government has partnered with the One Planet Initiative to explore the potential development of a biodiversity credits market in the country.

As part of its local initiatives, Loyzaga said the Philippines—through the Department of Finance (DOF)—has built a Sustainable Finance Ecosystem, which has garnered strong support from the United Kingdom.

The framework, according to Loyzaga, has enabled collaboration among the DOF, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the private sector in investing in enterprise risk management, ESG reporting, and the issuance of government and private green bonds.

Loyzaga also announced that the Philippines has already commenced the establishment of a national natural resource geospatial database and a natural capital accounting system which will aid in the prioritization of investments and actions.

She said that the country has also instituted a climate change tagging system in its national budget and crafted legislation on the protection of millions of hectares of forests, wetlands, caves, mangroves, and reefs.

“We have adopted a whole of society and systemic risk-based approach where multilateral development banks and the private sector have a key role in achieving sustainable development, nature-based solutions and climate action, and the valuation of ecosystem services,” Loyzaga stated.

She likewise emphasized that cultures, livelihoods, and the resilience of the Philippines’ developing economy relies on the integrity of its ecosystems and the services they provide. ###