The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Tuesday vowed to apply lessons learned from non-government organizations and the academe on environmental protection and biodiversity conservation.
The agency ensured that science-based and evidence-informed solutions for forest management and biodiversity conservation gathered during its Mindanao multi-stakeholder forum in Cagayan de Oro City would be used for the various needs of communities with over 300 stakeholders from local government units, academe, NGOs, people’s organizations, representatives from indigenous peoples groups, and the private sector, to gain valuable insights on environmental protection and sustainable development.
DENR Secretary Ma. Antonia Loyzaga cited the importance of holding such multi-sectoral consultations, noting that the partnership is key to delivering the agency’s commitment to serve the Filipino people.
“There isn’t a perfect approach or solution to tackling the environmental challenges we face. However, with everyone’s support and collaboration, together we will be able to craft adaptive, inclusive, and sustainable development pathways built on strategic partnerships and sound science,” she added.
Philippine Eagle Foundation executive director Dennis Joseph Salvador presented the foundation’s initiatives and the challenges concerning protected areas and biodiversity conservation.
Kitanglad Integrated NGO Inc. executive director Maria Easterluna Canoy underscored the equal importance of culture and development, and how consultations like the forum will recognize the IPs expertise, and experiences in the local context.
On the other hand, Society of Filipino Foresters Inc. national council president forester Tommy Valdez urged the DENR to optimize opportunities in forestry to ensure that the supply of ecosystems and socioeconomic services would be available to meet both present and future needs.
Dr. Hilly Ann Roa-Quiaoit from the Mindanao State University provided examples on how ecosystem services can help sustain and conserve natural resources by providing incentives to local communities.
Ateneo de Davao University president Fr. Joel E. Tabora SJ also highlighted people’s involvement as a key ingredient to successful climate action.
The DENR aims to incorporate these insights and inputs into its Environment and Natural Resources Framework, which will be the foundation for science-based, data-driven, and socially, politically, and culturally sensitive environmental policies and programs for the country. Rio N. Araja