PH must have inventory of nat’l resources, Environment sec says

July 22, 2023 Cory Martinez 102 views

TO prepare the country against natural disasters resulting from climate change, there must be an inventory of the natural resources.

This was stressed by Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga in the forum, ‘Towards a Greener Footprint’ in Iloilo City.

During the forum, the secretary unveiled the department’s comprehensive 13-point roadmap to prepare the country against natural disasters resulting from climate change and to reduce its carbon footprint.

Loyzaga explained that to achieve these goals, there must be an inventory of the natural resources in order to craft measures on how to manage them.

“We can only manage (them) better if we measure what we have,” Loyzaga told the forum participants.

Loyzaga said local governments must work together since these risks know no political boundaries.

She stressed the need for an urban development plan that local governments must follow so their political neighbors can jointly benefit from their investments in well-being and quality of life.

On top of the list on the roadmap is the full greenhouse gas inventory which will identify how each sector contributes to the local government unit’s emissions and therefore establish goals for emissions reduction.

To complement the inventory, a strategy emissions reduction that assigns the responsibility of achieving the targets per sector must be designed.

Included in the roadmap is the inventory of each locality’s “green and blue assets.”

Loyzaga cited examples from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which show that mangroves and wetlands sequester carbon as much as 10 times greater than mature tropical forests.

“Our terrestrial, coastal and marine forests are here and we can calculate their carbon sequestration capacity and storage,” Loyzaga disclosed.

With these data from the inventory, local governments can also learn how to prepare better for disasters caused by natural hazards and climate change.

Loyzaga also encouraged the adoption of industry practices that advance building more with less.

“We must check the carbon intensity of our building materials for the greening programs of LGUs,” she added.

Other proposed activities in the roadmap include the use of vernacular architecture, or the use of traditional materials, design and resources from the area where the building is located, as a climate adaptation measure; conducting a metro-wide diversity inventory that covers both flora and fauna, and adopt nature-based and grey-green solutions to natural hazards.