Press Releases

The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is looking forward to a more sustainable development and management of urban parks and green cities across Southeast Asia with the recently concluded regional research and development (R&D) conference.

The ERDB-hosted “R&D Conference on Urban Parks and Green Cities: A Sustainable Future in Southeast Asia," which was held from October 11 to 13 in Manila, brought together R&D specialists from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to discuss the future of urban parks and green cities in the region amid the threats of climate change and other environmental issues.

The research papers presented bared that due to rapid urbanization, metropolitan parks and green spaces are declining and are victims of mismanagement and overexploitation thereby placing environmental challenges and liveability risks.

ERDB Director Maria Lourdes G. Ferrer expressed hope the conference was able to stimulate new and stronger partnerships among ASEAN member countries for improved strategies, measures and policies to address environmental challenges faced by urban parks and green spaces.

"Through this scientific gathering, we have now started our partnership in our effort to help mitigate the effects not only of climate change but also of other environmental issues and concerns to the urban ecosystem in particular," Ferrer said.

Ferrer said the conference was in line with DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga’s directives to adopt science-based adaptation strategies in combating national and local effects of climate change.

Seventy-five research works written by local and international experts were presented which focused on Green and Resilient Urban Communities, Urban Biodiversity, Ecosystem and Economics, Management and Impact of Urban Parks, and Urban Governance and Policies of Greener Cities.

"We have shared a wealth of scientific information in this conference, and it is part of our responsibility as researchers and scientists to communicate these to those who could join hands with us in creating lasting change. These may be the national government policymakers, the local government units, even the communities," Ferrer said.

Among the research works presented were studies from different urban parks and cities in Southeast Asia on the evaluation of ecosystem services, risk reduction planning and management, and public value and roles of urban parks.

Presentations also include the sustainability of water and sanitation, assessment of flora and fauna in urban areas, landscape restoration in urban parks, and policy review, formulation and institutional arrangement.

Conference participants were introduced to new research methodologies from each other’s works, stirring inspiration to replicate the studies and adapt them locally in their countries.

Ferrer said the ERDB aims to gather the experiences and studies from other ASEAN countries and determine strategies that can be used for policymaking and environmental programs for the Philippines.

The conference was attended by participants from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

The said initiative supports the United Nations' 11th sustainable development goal to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. ###

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), has conducted the final presentation of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) and national framework for Republic Act 11898 or the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act of 2022.

Almost 650 representatives from non-government organizations (NGOs), the academe, sanitary landfill operators, training organizations, plastic industry associations and corporations, and local government units were gathered during the final consultation held last November 3 in Quezon City.

The DENR-EMB was tasked to formulate the IRR and framework within 90 days since RA 11898 lapsed into law on July 23 this year.

The EPR law will require huge corporations to process their plastic packaging waste.

“We have conducted several focus group discussions and public consultation meetings for Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao clusters during the past few weeks,” EMB Director William Cuñado said.

“We were able to achieve the task of formulating the IRR and framework for the Extended Producer Responsibility Act in such a small amount of time with the help and support of all partners and stakeholders,” he added.

Some of the notable features of the IRR include provision of additional and further definitions of terms, such as ECAR or the EPR Law (2022) Compliance Audit Report, plastic waste footprint reduction, producer responsibility organizations (PROs), recyclable materials, and waste diverters.

Three NGO representatives with track record or expertise on solid waste management or waste reduction, recycling and resource recovery; EPR; and hazardous waste management will also be added to the private sector representatives of the National Solid Waste Management Commission.

The IRR also provides a step-by-step process for the EPR registration for the obliged enterprises, collectives, and PROs, which would include their EPR program.

A national framework was also crafted for all types of product waste with the aim of reducing non-environment friendly products and establishing recovery programs to effectively prevent waste from leaking to the environment.

Cuñado said that the recommendations from the stakeholders will be considered in the finalization of the IRR and framework prior to its endorsement for adoption as department order.

“With the conclusions to the final presentations today, rest assured that all your inputs and insights will be considered for the finalization of the draft IRR and the framework, which will then be endorsed to the DENR executive committee,” said Cuñado.

The final consultation was held in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and the Government of Japan. ###

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), together with the DENR Association of Career Executives (ACE), Career Service Executive Board (CESB) and McDonald's Philippines, conducted a tree planting activity at the La Mesa Watershed Reservation in Quezon City last November 11.

The activity was in line with the 49th founding anniversary of CESB and a prelude to the National Volunteer Month in December to be spearheaded by the DENR’s Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service.

“Just like in the tree planting activity, seeds are planted in the hearts of the volunteers. Sustaining these seeds require utmost effort so that they would grow and flourish,” said DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones in a speech delivered by Assistant Secretary for Human Resources, Strategic Communication and Sectoral Initiatives Hiro V. Masuda.

A total of 150 seedlings of the hardwood species Dracontomelon dao were planted during the activity.

The tree planting initiative, which is under the DENR ACE’s ComPassion Project, stresses the importance of 5Ps — People, Planet, Peace, Prosperity and Partnership.

According to Leones, the tenets of the 5Ps are “fully embodied under the recently concluded tree planting activity that was participated not only by the DENR, but its stakeholders as well.”

CESB Executive Director Maria Marcy Cosare-Ballesteros expressed gratitude to the DENR and said, “The DENR inspired us to better understand the importance of planting trees, especially that climate change is already here.”

For his part, Atty. Jose Gabrielle Petrache, public affairs and sustainability manager at Golden Arches Development Corporation, which is the master franchise holder of McDonald’s in the Philippines, said: “Typhoon Queenie and Paeng have caused so much loss to the Filipino people. The said impact could have been lessened if we planted more trees.” ###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will be holding a series of activities to celebrate this year’s National Climate Change Consciousness Week on November 19-25 with the theme “Sama-samang Tumutugon sa Hamon ng Nagbabagong Klima.”

Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems and Climate Change Analiza Rebuelta-Teh said the DENR is all set for the weeklong celebration, which aims to raise awareness on global warming and climate change including their impacts.

“The DENR is all geared up for the celebration of the National Climate Change Consciousness Week in the most opportune time when the focus of Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga’s leadership is climate-resilient development,” Teh said.

“With the recently concluded COP27 climate conference in Egypt, the DENR prepared for a much intensive information drive to teach Filipinos on how to combat climate change and its drastic effects starting this year,” she added.

In line with this, the DENR, through its Climate Change Service, has lined up various activities to mark the weeklong observance.

The Climate Investment Forum titled “Turning Climate Commitments to Action” was held on November 21, 2022 in Quezon City. The event was spearheaded by the Climate Change Commission, together with the DENR, the Department of Finance, the Securities and Exchange Commission, United Nations Development Programme, and the World Bank.

Scheduled on November 22-23 was the kick-off workshop on Cool Contributions Fighting Climate Change or C4II, a GIZ project in partnership with the DENR and the Department of Energy. This seeks to support the Philippines in the transition towards climate-friendly initiative in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector.

This will be followed by “Journey Towards Resilience: Increasing Hope in Youth (Paglalakbay Patungo sa Katatagan),” a knowledge-sharing activity through community engagement.

In cooperation with the DENR-Cordillera Administrative Region, the event will be held at Barangay Sta. Filomena in the town of Calanasan, Apayao province and in the Municipality of Lagayan in Abra province on November 24 and 28, respectively.

The National Awarding for Mga Kwentong KLIMA-likasan: A Climate and Disaster Resiliency Award is scheduled on November 24, 2022, and will be held virtually. The event is sponsored by the DENR Gender and Development Office, Climate Change Service, and Globe.

On November 25, Ang Tinig Klima Radio Program will discuss “Usapang COP27: Tagumpay at Mga Hamon” at 3pm. This will also be aired via Facebook Live by RMN, DENR Central Office, and DZXL.

The DENR Climate Change Service and Earth Day Jam Foundation will hold the Sining LIKHASAN Special: National Awarding for Short Film Competition on November 25 at 8 pm via YouTube.

A webinar on Decarbonizing Cities, a DENR- Holcim Philippines Inc. initiative will be held on November 28.

According to DENR Climate Change Service Director Elenida Basug, various information, education, and communication campaigns, activities, and other relevant projects are being pursued by the DENR regional offices, including their bureaus and attached agencies.

The member-agencies of the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation, and Disaster Risk Reduction are providing support in the activities for the weeklong celebration.

“While the country anticipates more storm surges and typhoons in the future, we at the DENR must continue fulfilling our mandate to save the new generations from the devastating effects of climate change,” Basug said. ###

Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga called on lawmakers to prioritize the passage of proposed measures to strengthen Republic Act (RA) 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

“It is high time to address the threats to biodiversity such as the proliferation of invasive alien species, destruction of natural habitats, unsustainable utilization of resources, illegal wildlife trade and environmental pollution. It is also time to consider in our plans and policies the sustainability and life time value of our country’s wildlife resources along with the ecosystem services that they yield not only to the nation but to the overall health of our planet,” Loyzaga said.

RA 9147 provides the necessary environmental policy enabling the government to comprehensively manage and conserve the wildlife resources of the country.

In line with this, Loyzaga proposed ten points to amend the wildlife law in penalizing the crime of wildlife trafficking as a separate offense.

These points include considering wildlife crime as a transnational offense, increasing fines and penalties for wildlife violations, expanding the role of other national government agencies and local government units to have more teeth in enforcing the wildlife law, and mandating government agencies to control and manage invasive alien species, among others.

“Indeed, sophisticated crimes need a sophisticated, robust, and science-based counter approach. Strengthening RA 9147 is a necessary step to further protect and conserve the country’s wildlife resources and their habitats,” Loyzaga said.

According to Loyzaga, the support of the lawmakers in the amendment of RA 9147 is indispensable to advance our efforts and initiatives to sustainably manage our wildlife resources.

She added that the amendment of the wildlife law is also in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Targets 13, 14, and 15 (Climate Action, Life Below Water and Life on Land) that calls for urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats and halt the loss of biodiversity.

Senators Cynthia Villar and Jinggoy Estrada filed Senate Bill Nos. 125 and 467, respectively, to give a more robust approach to the existing wildlife law and ensure that violators will not go unpunished.

Director Natividad Y. Bernardino of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), meanwhile, expressed her optimism that “the amendment for RA 9147 is once again considered and refiled at the 19th Congress.”

“With this legislation, the provisions of RA 9147 will be more stringent on the target perpetrators such as organized syndicates and will provide a wider coverage to encompass even transnational crimes,” Bernardino said.

Bernardino said the move to strengthen RA 9147 comes in a very opportune time during the COVID-19 pandemic, since the illegal wildlife trade is identified as one of the pathways of zoonotic diseases transmission. ###