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Loyzaga: Climate action is ‘everyone’s business’

June 19, 2023 Cory Martinez 195 views

DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Antonia Loyzaga called for a collaboration with the country’s top business leaders to help the government’s efforts to address the climate crisis and create sustainable communities.

Loyzaga made the appeal during the recently held general membership meeting of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), where she stressed that climate action for resilience is “everyone’s business.”

“Our government needs partners who go beyond ESG (environmental, social and governance) and the fence lines of their operations to ensure ecosystem integrity and the resilience of communities that surround their operations,” Loyzaga told the meeting participants.

Loyzaga added that the government also needs partners who go beyond compliance to achieve strategic shared values and who are committed within their core business value cycles to going beyond just their specific contributions to GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

MAP is an organization that promotes management excellence for nation-building through the sharing of best management practices among its members, networking with other local and international business organizations, and benchmarking with counterpart organizations in other countries.

Loyzaga was invited to the MAP gathering to discuss the national priorities on the environment, natural resources, and climate change, providing an avenue for potential partnerships and collaboration between DENR and the business community.

Loyzaga disclosed that the Marcos Jr. administration’s agenda of pursuing a “green and blue economy” and establishing livable and sustainable communities guides the DENR in fulfilling its mandate of protecting the environment, managing risk, and building resilience in all-natural domains.

“Our work covers the air we breathe, all life on land and below water, and all our natural resources. In sum, our priorities are to protect, conserve, restore and regenerate the ecosystems that serve as the life support for all human, social and economic development,” she said.

Loyzaga also called on MAP members to participate in tackling plastic pollution by committing to the full implementation of Republic Act (RA) 11898, or the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) of 2022.

“Some of you have already stepped forward and committed to work with us,” she said.

The EPR law serves as the environmental policy approach and practice that requires producers to be environmentally responsible throughout the life cycle of a product, especially its post-consumer or end-of-life stage.

“Among the biggest threats to the environment is our unsustainable consumption and production practices that lead to (the) production of polluting waste. This is where our partnerships would not only be strategic but critical to our survival,” Loyzaga said.

“Confronting the complex roots of the pollution on land, seas and air requires a whole of society effort that will come at a cost but will have far-reaching benefits,” she added.

Loyzaga said the EPR law is an opportunity to curb the destruction of ecosystems by setting targets for large enterprises to cover and divert 20 percent of the plastic waste they produce in 2022 by the end of 2023, gradually increasing this by 40 percent by 2024 and setting 10 percent targets until 80 percent can be decreased and reached by 2028 onwards.