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Environment protection should be science, knowledge-based

June 30, 2023 Camille P. Balagtas 224 views

SENATE President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda reaffirmed her strong stance toward protecting the nation’s green environment as she underscored the significance of pursuing a more science and knowledge-based approach in striking a balance between the environment and economy.

As she joined the nation in celebrating the Philippine Environment Month, Legarda called on everyone to do their share in conserving what we have.

“Think of the sustainable practices and products that could become economic opportunities in a changed world. Change is inevitable, and we must use the momentum of how fast things are changing to ride that tide and chart the direction of our nation’s future,” Legarda remarked.

The four-term senator who authored various environmental laws urged DENR, which also commemorates the 160th Anniversary of the Philippine Forestry Service, to utilize these pieces of legislation to fully maximize the mandates and responsibilities of the agency to the environment.

In 2021, Legarda reported that the Philippines submitted its first National Determined Contribution (NDC), which conveyed a 75% greenhouse gas emissions reduction and avoidance target by 2023 for the agriculture, waste industry, transport, and energy sectors.

She also highlighted the ‘Luntiang Pilipinas’ she founded in 1998, which promoted environmental awareness, protection, and preservation, and paved the way for two million trees to be planted on more than 500 hectares of land across the Philippines.

“Even as I work tirelessly in the legislature, I call on you who have daily decision-making powers to use the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) system, which you always refer to as a planning mechanism, to cycle materials, to not always look for the easy way out by dumping and creating deadlands,” she added, noting the importance of Filipino participation in these environmental endeavors.

Likewise, Legarda encouraged DENR to energize the department’s workforce to keep standing in the way of ecological losses, which she said takes courage and conviction to accomplish.

“We can overcome our weaknesses with a unified front, which looks at meeting goals and making procedures and decisions that address them by counting on our young people here to be creative for their own future,” the senator asserted.