PH calls for nations to save ecosystems

December 5, 2023 Joel dela Torre 98 views

THE Philippines through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has urged other nations during global climate talks in Dubai to adopt ridge-to-reef approaches to stem further ecosystem loss while reiterating the need for urgency to save lives and livelihoods.

In the forum, Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Loyzaga, who heads the Philippine delegation, highlighted the importance to protect and restore the “blue carbon ecosystem,” especially in addressing the deep-sea economic activities.

Entitled “No Paris without the Ocean: Partnership to Activate Ocean-Cimate Solutions at Scale,: the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) said that looking beyond national jurisdictions in the high seas is needed to safeguard and preserve the integrity of marine ecosystems.

Loyzaga raised concern over what seems to be increasing deep-sea minerals extraction while citing the need for further study and establishment of governing policies and rules.

“We wish to note with concern the lack of knowledge we have of these environments and the consequence of their physical, chemical and biological disruption. There’s an urgent need to address these gaps, establish a body of sound science, and rules-based international order to avert possible impacts of these activities on the achievement of our global climate goals and the equitable relations between nations on the high seas,” the DENR chief said.

The Philippines, she explained, has scaled-up ecosystem-based adaptation effort and nature-based solutions being the center of marine shore fish biodiversity with the highest concentration of species per unit area.

This is to comprehensively address, manage, and continue to effectively reduce the drivers and threats of degradation of coastal marine ecosystems across the 36,000 kilometers of coastline and over 2.2 million kilometers of territorial seas.

“With our locally, nationally, and internationally-organized partnerships, we work chiefly with 35 nationally-managed Marine Protected Areas covering their maintenance, protection and monitoring the work of People’s Organizations in establishing biodiversity-friendly activities. Our national government also provides support to other sector especially sub-national or local governments in managing thousands of locally-managed Marine Protected Areas and Indigenous Community-conserved areas,” Loyzaga said.

The high-level dialogue featured the essential role of the ocean in achieving success of the Paris Agreement, while also showcasing ambitious partnerships that support the conservation and restoration of ocean ecosystems for climate, nature, and people.

“We call for all to work together, to forge the adoption of BBNJ, and to align with the Paris Agreement, the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, and the Sustainable Development Goals. We must unite today to protect the ocean that we need for the future we, and generations to come, all want. Very simply, our survival depends on it,” she added.