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Sato vows continued protection of Occ. Mindoro’s eco-jewels

November 19, 2021 Jester P. Manalastas 336 views

OCCIDENTAL Mindoro Rep. Josephine “Nene” Sato vowed to continue protecting and conserve the province’s environmental jewels by supporting programs and advocacies.

Sato, a governatorial candidate, is the brains and efforts behind the enactment of the landmark Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) Act of 2018 (or Republic Act 11038), which increased to 107 the country’s total protected areas spanning 15 regions, across 53 provinces covering over three million hectares or roughly 10 percent of the Philippines’ land area.

“Hinding-hindi po natin bibitiwan ang ating adhikain na ingatan at proteksyunan ang ating Inang Kalikasan. Sa lahat ng pagkakataon, sa lahat ng oras, lagi nating isaalang-alang ang ating kapaligiran at siguruhin natin na hindi natin ito sinisira at inaabuso,” Sato said.

Sato, who is now serving as a United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Global Legislative Champion for Biodiversity and Environment, has filed several important bills on environment and biodiversity while a member of the House of Representatives.

Among these measures are those seeking to revise and strengthen the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act and prosecute illegal wildlife trade as an organized transnational crime; strengthen and institutionalize the national policy on access and benefit-sharing from the utilization of the Philippine Genetic Resources (or the “PGRABs” bill); institutionalize the Tamaraw Conservation Program that will scale-up tamaraw conservation efforts similar to that of the Philippine eagle; and declare the entire island of Mindoro as a mining-free zone to institutionalize the 25-year mining moratorium.

“There is no planet B, we do not have a spare planet. Compromising the environment and our biodiversity will have far reaching adverse impact and will put the next generation in dire condition. So, if there’s a plan, program, project or any activity that may potentially harm the environment, don’t do it,” Sato said.

“There is no price tag on environment sustainability. No promise of economic benefit can outweigh the importance of environment sustainability and biodiversity conservation. Let us all work together in taking care of Mother Nature and of making sure that no one, nothing hurts her,” she added.

Back when was governor in November 2009, Sato has always been the province’s environment champion by signing the 25-year moratorium on all forms of mining in Occidental Mindoro, one of the first local executives in the country to ban mining in her jurisdiction.