Prevention best approach to climate change

October 13, 2022 Cory Martinez 121 views

THE best approach to climate change is “prevention more than response.”

This was stressed by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga during the recent deliberations of the House of Representatives on the DENR’s proposed P23.04-billion budget for 2023.

Loyzaga claimed that the ideal combination to address the impact of climate change comes from highlighting “green nature-based” solutions with grey infrastructure solutions.

She also said that extreme weather events will cause different impacts on the various services of the country’s landscape and forests.

“What the DENR is doing now is actually valuing and inventorying the services that the forest covers. For example, forests provide ecosystem services in terms of preventing soil erosion that could lead to the siltation of our rivers and waterways. As such, forests eventually prevent flooding,” Loyzaga said.

She further noted that if there is adequate ground and forest cover, floods can be prevented.

With the help of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Loyzaga also pointed out that there are plans to converge the different resources that are available in each national government agency to address the impacts of climate change both on the national and local level.

Meanwhile, Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, DENR Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems and Climate Change, said that the “budget of the DENR is largely intended to support the climate actions of the government.”

“Out of the P15 billion that we have for operations, around P7 billion is intended to support climate action mainly on sustainably managing natural resources, clean and healthy environment, and a sustained natural resiliency program,” Teh said.

The DENR is also planning to work with the Department of Education (DepEd) to incorporate climate and disaster risk reduction education into the basic education school curriculum.

Loyzaga added that the agency needs to build a strategic communication and education program for all the different stakeholders, including the youth.

The main agenda of the DENR under the helm of Loyzaga is to work together with other national government agencies to implement climate adaptation and mitigation, which is also in line with the climate agenda of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Likewise, the priority thrusts and directions of the DENR include adopting a climate risk lens in national planning and policy-making.