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UNDP official urges collaboration to save and preserve biodiversity

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The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) called for partnerships to protect and preserve biodiversity on the planet and the need to change misconceptions that environmental interests and development and economic interests are a tradeoff.

“The plan to save the world’s biodiversity is an ambitious one, but it is possible through our collective efforts,” said UNDP Philippines resident representative Selva Ramachandran during the celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity in Taguig City on May 22.

An official of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) warned during the same forum that global biodiversity loss is happening right now and sought massive efforts to stop the crisis and prevent its catastrophic impacts.

“The current state of global biodiversity loss around the world is alarming,” USAID Deputy Mission Director Rebekah Eubanks said.

“Species are disappearing at an unprecedented rate because of habitat destruction, climate change, pollution, unsustainable agricultural practices, and exploitation of natural resources,” Eubanks said at the gathering of government officials, advocates and stakeholders led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR BMB). DENR News

“Biodiversity loss not only threatens the survival of countless species, but also undermines the stability of ecosystems, impacting human wellbeing and livelihoods,” Eubanks said. Biodiversity refers to all life forms on the planet.

Ramachandran cited the goals and targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF) that are aligned with UNDP’s Nature Pledge, a multi-year, high-ambition corporate commitment to accelerate global environmental action at scale for the benefit of people, planet, peace, and prosperity

UNDP has teamed up with civil society organizations, academe, indigenous peoples, local communities, private sector and agencies to ensure a common agenda and unify efforts to meet the targets of the Philippines and the GBF.

The UNDP, for its part, is exploring the development of innovative finance such as “green” and “blue” bonds, biodiversity credits and other finance mechanisms. Green bonds are among financing options to generate funds for environment-friendly investments. On the other hand, blue bond is a debt instrument issued by governments to raise capital to finance marine and ocean-based projects.

UNDP programs with DENR and its partners are expected to improve the management of some 300,000 hectares of other effective area-based conservation measures, including Local Conservation Areas and Indigenous Community Conserved Areas, 15 protected areas, and influence agricultural, forest and mining practices in these landscapes.

The USAID, meanwhile, has joined forces with the Philippine government to protect the country’s rich biodiversity by developing a national environmental law enforcement action plan to improve cooperation and coordination among national government agencies, Eubanks said.

In Palawan, considered the Philippines’ last ecological frontier, USAID supported the creation of the country’s first-ever province-wide plan for forest and landscape restoration to help manage the aftermath of natural disasters. The plan seeks to restore 71 percent of forests that were damaged over a five-year period in northern Palawan. DENR News

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